The 46-year-old pop star was honoured during an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday morning after being made an MBE for services to charitable causes and vulnerable women.
Mel B, whose real name is Melanie Brown, first rose to prominence as Scary Spice in the Spice Girls, and became a patron of the charity Women’s Aid in 2018 after leaving what she described as an abusive relationship.
“I never thought I would be here getting this MBE for the work I’ve been doing,” Mel B said.
“It’s amazing to have but it’s not just for me – it’s for all those other women.
“Especially because of Covid, there’s been such an epidemic of domestic violence, that’s been completely on the rise, and you know I’ve got an army of women behind me that need help and need to be heard.
“So I’m their voice because we’ve all been through exactly the same story, so I don’t take it as it’s my award because it’s our award because we’ve survived.”
Asked about her conversation with William, she said: “He commended me on all my work that I’ve been doing, and he goes, ‘I’m so sorry you went through such a horrible time’.
“He did say, ‘I can’t believe I’m giving you one of these – I’m delighted’, and I said, ‘Aw thank you’ and we had a giggle.”
Asked about her career highlights, she said: “I’ve had a really amazing life so far and it was turned into something horrible for 10 years and I’ve made something worthy.”
She also hinted at more to come from the Spice Girls, adding: “There’s so much stuff but I don’t want to say anything until it’s actually happening and I don’t want to jinx myself and I always blurt everything out first, so I’m keeping quiet this time – revelling in this moment.”
It was the first major investiture at the Queen’s London residence since the start of the pandemic more than two years ago.
The palace has been undergoing a 10-year £369 million renovation project to update essential services, but work has been paused for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
Investitures will continue to take place at Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace over the summer.
The change does not represent a permanent return to investitures at the palace because the building project is yet to be completed.