Almond sweet on Royals in big day at Palace

The singer Marc Almond, one of the few performers from Leeds to have recorded a number one record, collected an OBE yesterday from the Duke of Cambridge.

Soft Cell frontman Marc Almond holds his OBE following an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace

Almond, whose big hit with the 1980s duo Soft Cell was Tainted Love, will perform for the final time with partner David Ball later this year. He described the honour, for services to arts and culture, as “one of the greatest moments” of his life.

The singer spent a month in a coma after a near-fatal motorcycle accident in 2004, and later became a patron of the brain trauma charity, Headway.

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He praised Princes Harry and William for their campaigning on mental health issues, saying: “They have brought the stigma around head trauma to the forefront and it’s become less of a taboo subject, I think, and people are talking about it much more which is really important.”

Another musician, Richard Cowie, whose stage name is Wiley, said he was surprised the royal family had even heard of his brand of underground pop known as grime. He received an MBE for services to music.

Others at the Bucking­ham Palace ceremony included the England cricketer Tamsin Beaumont, who was also made an MBE, and Alexandra Shulman, the former longtime editor of British Vogue. She said after receiving her CBE for services to fashion journalism that the Queen remained “the most stylish person”.