AN ARMY doctor who volunteers with an emergency scheme has spoken of his pride after being presented with the MBE by the Queen.
Maj Leon Roberts visited Buckingham Palace on Wednesday last week with his wife Amie and children Neve, four, and Logan, two, to receive the award. His parents, parents-in-law and grandmother also attended to watch the ceremony.
It was only 30 minutes before the ceremony that Maj Roberts, who is also a volunteer doctor with the East Midlands Immediate Care Scheme found out it would be the Queen presenting the award.
Maj Roberts, who lives in Colsterworth, said: “It was an absolutely astounding day and a real family day for us all. The children saw the changing of the guards, which they really liked as well.”
He was named as having received the award in the Queen’s birthday honours list last year for services to the Army and community while working at St George’s Barracks in North Luffenham between 2007 and 2010.
But he chose to wait until he returned from a seven-month tour of Afghanistan, where he worked with the Afghan National Army teaching its doctors the skills they need for the future, before going to the palace to collect the award.
He said: “We didn’t want to rush it and we really wanted to plan a lovely day for us all. It was something for us all to look forward to after so long away from home.”
Maj Roberts, who is currently on post with the Irish Guards, said the Queen was very attentive.
He said: “We arrived at about 10am and the ceremony was at 11am and the presentations were made in a dining room.
“The Queen asked me about my current posting in the Army, which is the Irish Guards, and mentioned that her grandson William is colonel of the Irish Guards.
“She also asked me about Afghanistan and what I was doing with mentoring the Afghan National Army.
“It really was a great day. They made it feel very personal.”