A nurse who has worked for the NHS for 37 years was presented with an OBE by Prince William who was keen to hear about the mother-of-three’s inspiring career.

Kathryn Halford, chief nurse at Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT), has treated London bombing victims and HIV and AIDS patients over the past three-and-a-half decades.

The 55-year-old was joined by her husband Roland and daughters Rebecca, 29, and Freya 23, and son Oliver, 27, for the service at Buckingham Palace on Thursday, November 29.

Mrs Halford said: “It was a really lovely day and you’re made to feel so special.

“Prince William was really nice and asked all about the trust and my career in nursing and we chatted about how we manage change and improvement in the NHS.

“He was very attentive and you get to have a personal conversation, just you and him.”

Before collecting her award, nerves kicked in when Mrs Halford was the next in line to meet the Duke of Cambridge.

She added: “I wasn’t nervous at all until I was next in line, but Prince William was so easy to talk to that put me at ease.

“They tell you what to do beforehand and there’s no rush so you really have the time to enjoy it, and you’re very well looked after.”

After collecting her Order of the British Empire (OBE) for her services, Mrs Halford was joined by the rest of her family, including her parents and two sisters, for a lunch celebration.

The nurse who began her career at the age of 18 works in Harold Wood during the week and spends weekends at her family home in Gloucester.

She was among 64 NHS staff to receive awards in the Queen’s Birthday Honours this year, marking the 70th anniversary of the NHS.