Prince William shows off sign language skills at Buckingham Palace investiture ceremony

Harriet Brewis

The Duke of Cambridge was all smiles at Buckingham Palace today as he honoured stars of sport, politics and television at a special investiture ceremony.

William skilfully cast aside the stresses of a tough week which saw him accused of “bullying” his younger brother Harry and rushing to Sandringham for crisis family talks.

In a particularly touching moment at today’s red carpet event, the father-of-three showed off his sign language skills as he awarded an MBE to TV interpreter Alex Duguid.

Mr Duguid has spent the past three decades helping broadcasters communicate with deaf audiences, becoming the British Sign Language (BSL) face of ITV’s Emmerdale and Coronation Street.

Today, the second in line to the throne spelt out “congratulations, Alex” with slow and steady BSL finger gestures.

The TV star looked delighted as he received his insignia, fingerspelling “thank you” in response.

The royal presentation also saw the duke knighting Theresa May's Brexit negotiator Oliver Robbins and former England cricket captain Andrew Strauss.

He was also spotted sharing a joke as he gave gongs to rapper MIA, Scottish composer Anna Meredith and BBC golf expert Ken Brown.

Rapper and singer MIA - real name Mathangi Arulpragasam is made an MBE (PA)

Around 30 investitures are held each year, with more than sixty recipients attending each ceremony.

The honours range from MBEs, OBEs and knighthoods, to Orders of Chivalry and Orders of Merit.

Today's recipients included actor Griffith Rhys Jones, veteran foster carers William Foster, 82, and Margaret Foster, 74, and football executive David Gill.