Marcus Rashford, his mother and father arrived today at Windsor Castle to be awarded the MBE for his leadership in fighting child poverty.

Prince William hosted the ceremony and the star of Manchester United and England, 24-year-old England player was seen in good spirits with Melanie Maynard.

The footballer is being recognised for his campaign last summer to ensure no child in need went hungry, which forced the Government into a U-turn over providing free school meal vouchers for 1.3million children during the summer holidays. 

Rashford started his drive following the rejection by Parliament of proposals for free meals to vulnerable children.

Within 10 hours of its launch, his petition asking politicians for more help in fighting child hunger attracted 100,000 signatures. The Government then changed policy.

Marcus Rashford arrived at Windsor Castle with his mother Melanie Maynard ahead of the ceremony which is being hosted by Prince William

Marcus Rashford and his mother Melanie Maynard arrived at Windsor Castle ahead of the Prince William-hosted ceremony.

The footballer is being recognised for his campaign last summer to ensure no child in need went hungry. Pictured: Rashford during the Manchester United v Atalanta B.C. game at Gewiss Stadium in Bergamo, Italy, on November 2

 The footballer is being recognised for his campaign last summer to ensure no child in need went hungry. Rashford in action during Manchester United v Atalanta B.C. Gewiss Stadium Bergamo, Italy on November 2.

Later, the athlete said that he couldn’t be prouder to be British after his Christmas campaign for free food to all children sparked a flood of support.

He told BBC Newsnight: ‘Growing up we didn’t have a lot, but we always had the safety net of the community. This was my family.

“When we stumbled we were welcomed with open arms. Local businesses today have reached out to their local communities and rescued vulnerable children from the bottom of their hearts, even when they were at their worst.

“I could not be prouder to call myself British tonight. The outpouring support is truly overwhelming.

“You’re looking for a place to discuss celebrities and superstars? Then my Twitter account is the best option.     

Rashford, who was presented with an MBE by the Queen’s Birthday Honours List last year, paid tribute to his mother. He encouraged the public to “pat themselves on their back” for having’survived’ the 2020 pandemic. 

According to him, “She is everything.” She is every positive quality you can see in me. She is strong, protective, and unfeigned if I were to describe her in 3 words.

“I worried about the well-being of my peers if our schools close as part the the national lockdown. 

“Without breakfast club or free school meals, all I had was a little.” How would my mother and I have survived without breakfast club?

He said he was also ‘incredibly humbled and honored’ to be awarded an MBE at 22 years old and paid tribute his mother, who is ‘the real deserving recipient’ of the honor.

“I am incredibly honored and humbled,” said the footballer. Never did I imagine that I’d be accepted an MBE as a Wythenshawe young black man, let alone an MBE at 22. 

“This moment is very special for me, my family and especially my mum. She is truly deserving of this honour. 

“We are far from finished in the fight for our most vulnerable kids. 

The Duke of Cambridge also made actress Dame Sheila Hancock a dame commander for services to drama and charity today

The Duke of Cambridge made actress Sheila Hancock, Dame Sheila Hancock, a dame commander today for her services in drama and charity.

The actress (pictured receiving her award) been a part of British cultural life since the 1960s with roles on the stage, screen and television

This is the actress who was presented with her award. She has been an integral part of British culture since the 1960s, playing roles on stage and screen as well as television.

Rugby player Alun Wyn Jones is made an OBE by the Duke of Cambridge during an investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle

During an investiture ceremony held at Windsor Castle, Alun Wyn Jones (rugby player) is awarded the OBE by The Duke of Cambridge

The Wales captain and Ospreys star (pictured speaking with Prince William) has been recognised for his services to Rugby Union Football in Wales

Prince William speaks with the Wales captain and Ospreys superstar. He was recognized for his contribution to Rugby Union Football.

“It would do me a disservice to my community and all the families that I’ve spoken to, if this was not the opportunity I took to respectfully ask the Prime Minister who recommended me to this honor, to help our children in the October half-term with an extension to the voucher scheme as the furlough program is ending and we are facing increased unemployment. 

“Another stick plaster but it will be a relief for the millions of parents in the UK. 

Let’s all stand united in stating that children should not be hungry in the UK. It doesn’t matter what your feelings or opinions are, having no access to food is not the fault of the child. 

The footballer, who was alsoHe was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Manchester in recognition of his work to fight child poverty. At the beginning of the lockdown, FareShare was partnered with us.

This charity collects food which cannot be sold at shops due to packaging mistakes and distributes it to thousands across the UK, including homeless shelters, schools breakfast clubs, refuges for domestic violence, food banks, and school breakfast clubs.

Rashford, who is also a Michelin-starred Chef Tom Kerridge announced that this year he will be offering back-to basics recipe ideas and culinary tips to low income families to tackle hunger.

The Duke of Cambridge is holding his first investiture in the aftermath of the pandemic. He also named actress Dame Sheila Hancock dame commander for her services to charity and drama.

Actress Dame Sheila Hancock after receiving her Damehood for services to Drama and to Charity

After being awarded her Damehood, Sheila Hancock became an Actress.

MP Angela Eagle is made a Dame Commander of the British Empire by the Duke of Cambridge

 MP Angela Eagle is made a Dame Commander of the British Empire by the Duke of Cambridge

Since the 1960s, she has played a role in British culture through roles on stage and screen.

Before John Thaw’s death in 2002, Dame Sheila was married to John Thaw. She started her professional career as a theatre actress, and found success on Broadway and in the West End.

She began her career with BBC comedy roles, including on sitcoms like The Rag Trade, Mr Digby Darling, Now, Take My Wife, as well as appearances in films such The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas. 

Alun Wyn Jones, a rugby star in Wales is being awarded an OBE to acknowledge his contributions to Rugby Union football.

Jones, who was awarded the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for his service last year, said that it was a great honour to be given such an honor.

“It is recognition of everyone who has supported me from grassroots, intermediate to professional rugby.

“It’s for my family, for those who can’t be there anymore and those that are still behind me. I’m grateful for their support and all the help I’ve received in doing what I’m trying to do.