Picture of the day: Katherine Jenkins collects OBE

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CLASSICAL singer Katherine Jenkins has dedicated her OBE to all the UK’s forces serving around the world.

The Neath-born mezzo-soprano received the award from the Prince of Wales during a Buckingham Palace investiture ceremony and described being recognised for her music and charity work as a “special thing”.

Katherine Jenkins

Katherine Jenkins

Jenkins has had a string of popular hits since making her recording debut in 2004 and twice won the best album prize at the Classical Brits.

The singer is also a trustee of the British Forces Foundation and towards the end of last year travelled with the organisation to Afghanistan to entertain troops.

She revealed that the letter informing her of the OBE was sent to her family’s home in Neath but was delivered by mistake to a neighbour, who handed it to her mother.

Jenkins said: “She was bouncing off the walls, desperate for me to open it. When I opened it I was so shocked, I really, really couldn’t believe it.

“I was obviously incredibly proud. My mum and I had a little glass of champagne and toasted my father, who is not with us any more.

“My award was for services to music and charity, I definitely put most of that towards my work with the military and my charities like Macmillan (Cancer Support).

“To be recognised for the things that I’ve done with the military is a really special thing for me and I feel it should be shared with all of them really, all our military personnel around the world.”

Jenkins was joined at the palace by her new boyfriend Andrew Levitas, a film-maker and artist whose movie Lullaby is expected to be released later this year.

The pair have been together since the autumn after reportedly being introduced by mutual friends.