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Adele enjoys visit to 'posh' Palace

Singer Adele has declared her visit to Buckingham Palace to receive an MBE from the Prince of Wales a "very posh" affair.

And to mark her trip, the performer, whose albums have taken the world by storm, accessorised her fingernails - with tiny crowns.

Her immaculate nails were painted royal blue and the nails on the ring fingers of both hands featured tiny silver-coloured crowns decorated with red stones.

In a statement issued after the ceremony, the singer said: "It was an honour to be recognised and a very proud moment to be awarded alongside such wonderful and inspirational people. Very posh indeed."

Adele has become a worldwide phenomenon, with her debut album 19 and the follow-up 21 selling millions of copies both at home and abroad.

Her chart-topping releases made the 25-year-old singer the natural choice to sing the theme to the James Bond movie Skyfall - the song that landed her an Oscar earlier this year.

In the past, the Tottenham-born singer has said her second album 21 was inspired by a "rubbish relationship", but she has gone on to find love with partner Simon Konecki, the father of her son Angelo.

Earlier this year she unveiled a tattoo of the letter A behind her ear, thought to be in honour of her child, who was born in October last year.

After the ceremony Adele was in good spirits and joked as she happily posed for pictures to mark the occasion, as her partner looked on.

She wore a Stella McCartney dress and a Philip Treacy fascinator with a veil.

Adele - full name Adele Laurie Blue Adkins - was born when her mother was 18, to a father she says she never knew.

From an early age she wanted to sing and her mother regularly arranged the lamps in her house to form a spotlight so Adele could perform to family and friends.

She was offered a recording contract with XL Recordings after a friend posted her demos on MySpace soon after she graduated from the performing arts Brit School in Croydon in 2006.

Her debut album 19, also inspired by heartache, went straight in at number one following its release in 2008.

She had already been tipped for success after becoming the first winner of the new Critics' Choice Award at the Brits.

Her success went stratospheric after a spine-tingling performance of her single Someone Like You at the 2011 Brit Awards, which became the launchpad for 21.

Adele also enjoyed the longest run ever by a woman at the top of the UK album charts, surpassing Madonna, and she became the first woman to have two singles and two albums in the UK top five at the same time.

She appears to have bounced back from her medical woes in late 2011 when her throat problems - which had threatened to wreck her singing voice permanently - forced her to cancel a string of concerts.

Adele, who won a record six Grammy Awards in the US last year, has said she will never write another break-up record as she is "done being a bitter witch".

During the investiture ceremony, Sir Edward Leigh, Margaret Thatcher's former private secretary, followed in his father's footsteps when he was dubbed a knight by the Prince.

The son of Sir Neville Leigh, former clerk to the Privy Council, Sir Edward worked in the private office of the former prime minister while she was leader of the Opposition between 1976 and 1977 and was in charge of her correspondence.

The Conservative MP has sat in the Commons for 30 years, but has remained a backbencher for much of the time, apart from a brief stint as a minister at the Department for Trade and Industry from 1990 to 1993.

Sir Edward, who is married with six children, is a qualified barrister and a member of the Inner Temple.

The MP for Gainsborough served a maximum term as chair of the influential Public Accounts Committee between 2001 and 2010.

The new knight described Baroness Thatcher as "one of the greatest peace- time prime ministers we've ever had".

Speaking about the role of backbench MPs, he added: "I think they're increasingly more and more rated because the select committees are more and more powerful and independent. I was chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, which is the best one."

He said that in the 1950s MPs were seen as just "lobby fodder" but today "there's more and more rebellions every year, backbenchers are more and more independent".

Christian Horner, principal of the Red Bull Formula One team which has won four consecutive constructors' and drivers' world championships, was awarded an OBE for services to motorsport.

He was just 31 when he became the Red Bull team boss eight years ago and, after a difficult first few seasons, success finally arrived in 2010.

Red Bull won both the constructors' and drivers' world championships that year - a feat repeated during the following three years - with Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel taking the individual honours.

Asked about the success of his team, Mr Horner said after the ceremony: "All aspects have to come together. We've had extremely talented drivers - and a very special talent in Sebastian Vettel - a great team, and the culmination of team and driver working together has resulted in the success we've had."

As a driver, Mr Horner's career first blossomed when he won the prestigious Formula Renault scholarship in 1991. He subsequently competed in British Formula Renault, British Formula Three, British Formula Two and Formula 3000.

His final season as a driver came with Arden in F3000 in 1998, after which he decided to turn his hand to owning and managing the team - at the age of 25.

He spent six seasons running Arden, achieving considerable success in later years before being taken on as principal of the new Red Bull F1 team in 2005.

Speaking about his time behind the wheel of high-powered cars, he said: "Those days are long gone but it was a very good insight for me to have driven and to see it from the other side of the fence as it were, but my future lay outside of the cockpit.

"We've won four consecutive double championships, which is fairly unique, and, of course, the pressure's always there to try and retain those trophies.

"There's a big regulation change coming in for next year which shuffles the pack a bit but we've got a talented workforce and go into the new year with nervous optimism."

Paralympians Josie Pearson and Aled Davies, who both won gold in the discus during London 2012, were awarded MBEs.

Pearson, who uses a wheelchair after breaking her neck 10 years ago in a car accident, set three world records on her way to claiming the discus title.

She said after the ceremony: "Without a doubt, London was the most incredible experience of my lifetime, something that I will never forget and memories I will treasure for the rest of my life."

Speaking about the atmosphere in the stadium, she added: "For something like a long-distance race there was a Mexican wave of noise going round the stadium. I'd never competed in a stadium like that before, there's not much that can prepare you to compete in front of 80,000 people."


From Belfast Telegraph