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State & Ceremonial

Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons, Eleanor Laing, receives Damehood from Prince William

The Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons, Dame Eleanor Laing, attended an investiture at Buckingham Palace on Thursday where she received her Damehood from the Duke of Cambridge.

Dame Eleanor, who was made a Dame in the 2018 Queen’s Birthday Honours List, has been the Member of Parliament for Epping Forest for 21 years.

She has been Deputy Speaker for almost five years, and before this, was a Shadow Minister for 12 years.

Dame Eleanor was appointed to the Privy Council, the formal body of advisers to the Queen, last November.

The 61-year-old politician was awarded a DBE for political and public service.

Dame Eleanor said: “It was a great privilege to be invited to Buckingham Palace where Prince William performed the investiture ceremony making me a ‘Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire’.

“Prince William was charming and we had a very pleasant conversation about my role as Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons.

“It was really impressive and often touching to see a number of really wonderful people receiving honours for their selfless commitment to various good causes.

“It was lovely to see how proud their families were of them.”

All three Deputy Speakers of the House of Commons now have knighthoods. Sir Lindsay Hoyle was knighted last year, and Dame Rosie Winterton received her DBE back in 2016.

Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, has no honours. However, traditionally retiring Speakers are awarded a Peerage.