PRINCE Charles presented Warboys nurse Margaret Berry with her OBE at a ceremony in Buckingham Palace.

“It was an utterly brilliant day, I had a wonderful time,” said Margaret, who is both the director of nursing standards at NHS Luton, and associate chief nurse for the East of England Strategic Health Authority.

“It was almost like an out of body experience going into the palace; going up the red carpeted steps and past several soldiers, including members of the Household Cavalry with their swords drawn.

“The Prince pinned the OBE on me, and asked me how I was managing the issues in the health service. I said 'we were doing our best to cope with them.'”

A nurse for 32 years, Margaret has a straightforward philosophy: “It is the public's right to get excellent care, and it is up to us to get it as right as we possible can.”

Margaret was accompanied to the palace by her partner Dr Sheila Withams, her sister Sheila Berry, and her friend Susan Lewis.

Margaret was made an OBE in the Queen's New Year Honours List, for services to healthcare.

She said: “I felt very honoured to receive this recognition, and continue to consider it a great privilege to contribute to the care of patients.”