Clare Balding set to be made a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours

·2-min read
Clare Balding, seen here at this week's Chelsea Flower Show, is in line for a CBE - David M Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images
Clare Balding, seen here at this week's Chelsea Flower Show, is in line for a CBE - David M Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images

Clare Balding, the television presenter, is to be made a CBE as part of the Queen's Birthday Honours list, The Telegraph understands.

The broadcaster, 51, will be given the honour following almost three decades working in radio and television.

Balding is expected to be one of only a handful of household names on the list, which coincides with the Queen's Platinum Jubilee weekend and will be focused on recognising the achievements and service of people "from all walks of life".

Nine years ago, when Balding was made an OBE by the Princess Royal at Windsor Castle, she spoke of her extreme nervousness during the encounter.

"I talked absolute gibberish, absolute gibberish - I was just hopeless," she said. "Mucked my curtsey up, nearly fell over as I turned and walked away, messed up properly, but luckily not too many people had seen that."

Clare Balding after being made an OBE at Windsor Castle in 2013 - Heathcliff O'Malley for The Telegraph
Clare Balding after being made an OBE at Windsor Castle in 2013 - Heathcliff O'Malley for The Telegraph

Balding is the daughter of Ian Balding, a horse trainer, and has a degree in English from the University of Cambridge.

Her award-winning broadcasting career began in 1994, when she became a trainee at BBC Radio.

She has covered five Olympic Games for the corporation, as well as three Winter Games, rugby league and Grandstand.

She won the Bafta Special Award for her coverage of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Balding, who is married to Alice Arnold, the former BBC Radio 4 newsreader, has also presented the Lord Mayor's Show, Trooping the Colour, New Year's Eve celebrations and Sports Personality of the Year for the BBC. She has also led Channel 4's horse racing coverage.

Her nervousness attending her previous investiture in 2013 is perhaps surprising, given a history of royal encounters dating back to her childhood.

In 2017, Balding spoke of how her father trained horses for the monarch and "she would come and see the horses".

She told The Jonathan Ross Show: "She'd come and see the horses about once a year and sometimes he'd forget to tell us that the Queen was coming.

"You'd have that situation where you came back to the house, the Queen was there for breakfast."

Ms Balding could not be reached for comment.

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