Mone wears corset to collect OBE
Businesswoman Michelle Mone wore a bespoke, low-cut corset to receive an OBE at Buckingham Palace - and revealed that she hopes to design Kate Middleton's bridal lingerie.
The creator of Ultimo lingerie designed the risque black outfit, which revealed a sheer bra underneath, especially for the ceremony.
It was only completed 24 hours earlier, leading to last-minute worries for the co-founder of MJM International, who admitted the ceremony was "so nerve-racking".
Admiring her medal just after receiving it, the Glaswegian entrepreneur said: "I designed it a few weeks ago but it was only finished last night, so my husband brought it down. I didn't even have a chance to try it on. I wanted to wear an Ultimo creation, but I did think: 'Should or shouldn't I wear it?"
In the event, she said Princess Anne did not comment on the outfit, which also included a long black jacket, black trousers, a colourful leopard-print hat and Christian Louboutin heels, but talked to her about business instead.
Mrs Mone's firm is launching a range of bridal dresses next year, but she said they would not have time to design Kate Middleton's dress for her wedding to Prince William. But she said she would like to provide lingerie for the April 29 wedding, adding: "I have designed Kate's bridal lingerie for her, and I'm going to send the designs to her. I think Ultimo fits with her image."
The Royal Wedding was on the minds of other award recipients at the palace, including cake-maker Michelle Turner, who received an MBE. Mrs Turner, from Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire, has already created cakes for the Queen's Diamond Wedding anniversary and Prince Charles' 60th birthday.
Asked if she had been approached regarding the wedding cake, she smiled and said: "I couldn't possibly comment." The 40-year-old, who set up the Little Venice Cake Company in 1999 and made the wedding cake for Madonna and Guy Ritchie, said she had "hundreds of ideas" for the cake, and added: "I've seen William born and grow up, and I've always thought: 'Wouldn't it be amazing if ...'
"They're a down-to-earth couple, and the cake needs to reflect their personalities. There is also a huge sense of history and occasion, so it needs to be very formal as well. I don't think there would be frills, bells and whistles, but very classic and understated, with a sense of history and heritage."
Harold Tillman, chairman of the British Fashion Council, who received a CBE, also had ideas on Miss Middleton's wedding dress. He said: "She's so beautiful, anything she wears will look stunning. We would like it to be a British designer. I understand there's a shortlist. We have several really excellent designers. I think she will go simple and elegant."