Tommy Smith: Member of the British Empire (M.B.E.)

December 10, 1977
Liverpool’s iron man Tommy Smith has been getting a briefing this week from his manager. Not on football matter but on Buckingham Palace protocol! Bob Paisley was at the Palace last week to receive his O.B.E., Tommy will be there next Wednesday for his M.B.E.

The procedure is impressive and worked out like an army maneuver, said Mr. Paisley. The recipients are gathered in groups of 16 and shepherded through the preliminaries with smooth efficiency by morning-suited officials who run the show.

Mr. Paisley said: “It began at 11 a.m. and we were told the Queen would finish the ceremony at 12.20 p.m. It finished at 12.20 p.m. We were told we would be leaving the Palace at 12.30 p.m. We left at 12.30 p.m. It was all impressive.”

The time-table is strictly adhered to. The Queen allows herself 30 seconds with each award-winner. With 160 men and women in the line, that makes exactly one hour 20 minutes … to the dot.

Every recipient of an award is allowed three members of his family with him. They see it all from start to finish. Mr. Paisley said: “There were about 500 people in the room, those with young children in a gallery. We saw only those members of our group being presented to the Queen. Our families saw every one.”
(Source: Liverpool Echo: December 10, 1977; via © 2018 Findmypast Newspaper Archive Limited

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