AN 88-year-old conservationist became a social media hit when a photograph of her receiving her MBE trended alongside her celebrity counterparts.

Betty, of St Helens Green, was awarded the MBE in the Queen’s Birthdays Honours in June for a lifetime of work dedicated to Harwich.

Last Friday she rubbed shoulders with the likes of actor Tom Hardy and football star Jermain Defoe at Buckingham Palace for a special ceremony to receive her title from Prince Charles.

The official Royal Family Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts then posted a select few images from the day - seen by millions of followers.

Along with photographs of Tom Hardy and Sir Kenny Dalglish, who received a knighthood for services to football, a picture of Betty was included. On Instagram her photograph, alongside Hertfordshire Royal British Legion stalwart Carol Chorley, received 38,000 likes - Tom Hardy’s received 114,000, and a set of pictures including Sir Kenny, Jermain Defoe and television historian Lucy Worsley received 40,000 likes.

Betty said: “People tell me it trended, they were all made up with that. I had a wonderful time, it was just a wonderful day.

“You go upstairs and the people who came with you go one way and you go another to wait with all the others getting theirs, I met some interesting people.

“Then we were called and they told you what to do such as how to courtesy.

“My legs were a bit weak and I should have stepped back two steps and then bowed but I forgot.”

Betty, a former borough council mayoress who has restored more than 30 derelict historic properties in Harwich and been a driving force behind charity the Fellowship For the Sick since the 1970s, spoke briefly to Princes Charles during the ceremony.

She added: “He was asking me all about heritage, he’s interested in that.

“He said ‘keep it up, this is what I like to see’.

“And he mentioned the motorcycle run.

“He was very pleasant.”

Betty’s special day continued with a tour of the House of Commons, organised by Sir Bernard Jenkin.