'Absolutely charming' Prince William awards MBE medal to care home manager
PUBLISHED: 16:16 10 February 2019 | UPDATED: 17:38 10 February 2019
More than three decades of caring for armed forces veterans has led to an MBE for Sally Mills, manager of the Royal British Legion care home Halsey House in Cromer.
Ms Mills, 58, was awarded the medal by Prince William at Buckingham Palace, making her a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.
She said it was a “very special” day, not just for her, but also her partner John Carley, son David Mills, 33, and daughter Cassie Weller, 36, who accompanied her to the palace.
Ms Mills said there were about 75 others receiving honours at the ceremony, and they had not been told beforehand that Prince William would be giving them out.
She said when a policeman there gave them the news: “There were lots of ‘whoops’ because we were all hoping it would be him - I certainly was anyway.
“I was a bit worried about the curtsying - I’m not used to wearing high heels so I could see myself toppling over, but it all went exceptionally well.”
She said they were given clips for the medals to be hung on as well as a few tips on what to do and what not to do during the ceremony.
Ms Mills said Prince William was “absolutely charming”.
She said: “He must have been told a bit about each of us because said to me ‘you work for the RBL at one of the care homes. I said ‘yes, in Cromer in Norfolk’ and he said ‘really? I must come and visit’. I said we would love to have him come up.”
Ms Mills said they also spoke about the different types of care on offer at Halsey House.
She said: “He made you feel quite relaxed and was genuinely interested in what you had to say.
“It’s so well organised and the atmosphere is lovely. You’re made to feel really special by everyone that you meet.”
Ms Mills has worked for the RBL since 1986 - with most of that time spent at Halsey House - and in November will mark 33 years with the charity.
She began her career as an enrolled nurse before the RBL paid for her to train as a registered nurse, and she worked her way up from there.
Ms Mill said: “I have loved every minute of it.
“It’s a special place to work, looking after veterans, and I feel really honoured to do it.
“The RBL has been a fantastic organisation in terms of supporting me and I’ve never wanted to be anywhere else.”