Belfast Telegraph

Christine Bleakley looks part at palace as proud fiance Frank Lampard picks up an OBE

By Tony Jones

Christine Bleakley played mum for the day as fiance, former Chelsea football star Frank Lampard received his OBE for services to his sport.

The Newtownards-born TV presenter was all smiles as she posed with her former England midfielder and his two young daughters Luna and Isla at Buckingham Palace.

The former Dancing on Ice host wore elegant navy for her royal engagement and was brimming with pride as Frank received his Order of the British Empire from Prince William.

The couple played happy families for the media but the glamorous duo, who now live in New York where Lampard plays for New York City FC, have yet to set a date for the nuptials.

After the ceremony he confirmed the "quiet" couple still have to finalise a date for the eagerly anticipated wedding.

He said: "We are very happy as we are, and we will have a date... We are quiet and like to live our own little lives.

"And I am sure it will be quiet - a private quiet event."

The couple have been together since 2009 and got engaged in LA in 2011.

Lampard was recognised for a career in British football that spanned 20 years and saw him win a clutch of medals with Chelsea and play for England more than 100 times.

After receiving his honour from the Duke of Cambridge, Lampard said: "As a personal achievement goes, this ranks up there with my achievements on the pitch and what I won with Chelsea, and playing for my country."

Lampard was Chelsea's all-time leading scorer with 211 goals before leaving England, after one season with Manchester City, to play Major League Soccer in the United States.

"But to receive an award like this among some very special people here, military, people who are doing a lot of good work in charity, it's very humbling to be here."

Also honoured during the Buckingham Palace investiture ceremony was actor Chiwetel Ejiofor, who was awarded a CBE for services to drama.

In 2013 he received an Oscar nomination and won a Bafta for his leading role in Steve McQueen's moving film 12 Years A Slave.

Paddington Bear creator Michael Bond was awarded a CBE for a career writing much-loved stories for children.

The recent movie about his bear who hails from "darkest Peru'', introduced the impeccably polite character to a new generation of children.

Belfast Telegraph


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