Her father had been a prolific and award-winning scriptwriter, and Sarah Lancashire wished he had been with her at the Palace to compose her some words.
“I don’t do things like this very easily,” admitted Miss Lancashire, as she nervously collected her OBE from the Duke of Cambridge.
“It is an emotional moment. I wish my father had been alive. I think at times like this, really, one tends to focus on parents and my father would have been the proudest man in the world.”
Geoffrey Lancashire had been a writer on Coronation Street, on which his daughter would later make her name as the shy barmaid, Raquel Wolstenhome. He also scripted the situation comedy The Cuckoo Waltz and episodes of The Lovers.
Miss Lancashire has gained critical acclaim in the comedy-drama Last Tango in Halifax, and the dark, West Riding crime thriller, Happy Valley, and said she planned to return to both.
She said of the occasion: “It’s very difficult in these most spectacular surroundings. Your your head is full of white noise because don’t want to fall over when you curtsy.”
Meanwhile, the Duke told another award recipient that he had put his love of motor bikes “on the back-burner” because of his growing family.
William, whose wife, the Duchess of Cambridge, is expecting their third child, presented the triple World Superbike champion Jonathan Rea with an MBE.
Roger Cruickshank, an RAF fighter pilot, was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for bravery after saving the lives of Iraqi soldiers fighting Islamic State. Sqn Ldr Cruickshank went into action with his unit, despite having little fuel left in his Typhoon fighter.