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Jackie Collins made OBE for services to fiction

Author Jackie Collins has been made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by the Queen today during an Investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

Author Jackie Collins is made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE).
Author Jackie Collins is made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE). Credit: PA

The best-selling novelist, sister of actress Joan Collins, was given the honour for services to fiction and to charity.

Collins, 76, has sold more than 400 million books in over 40 countries.

Irish President to make historic UK visit

Irish President Michael D Higgins will become the country's first head of state to make an official state visit to the UK.

Irish President Michael D Higgins will make a three-day State visit to the UK in April.
Irish President Michael D Higgins will make a three-day State visit to the UK in April. Credit: Brian Lawless/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Aras an Uachtarain - the President's official residence in Dublin - has confirmed they have accepted the official invitation from the Queen to visit the UK in April.

The three-day State visit follows the Queen's much-lauded trip to Ireland in May 2011, in what was considered a pivotal moment in relations between the two countries.

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Malala: I had to miss school to meet the Queen

Malala Yousufzai said that she would not ordinarily miss a day of lessons - but made an exception for her Buckingham Palace visit:

I had to miss school because I was meeting the Queen.

It's such an honour for me to be here at Buckingham Palace. It's really an honour to meet the Queen.I also wanted to raise the issue of girls not being educated on a higher platform so that the government in each country takes action on it.We need to fight for education in the suffering countries and developing countries, but also here.

Malala meets the Queen at Buckingham Palace

Malala met the Queen at Buckingham Palace.
Malala met the Queen at Buckingham Palace.

Malala Yousufzai spoke to the Queen about the importance of education when they met at Buckingham Palace.

The teenager, accompanied by her father Ziauddin, gave the Queen a copy of her book, I Am Malala, during their meeting in the palace's White Drawing Room, telling her: "It is a great honour for me to be here, and I wanted to present you with this book."

Accepting the gift, the Queen replied: "That's very kind of you," before chatting with the teenager for a few moments.

Malala presented the Queen with her book.
Malala presented the Queen with her book.

She was reduced to laughter by a comment from the Duke, who quipped that in this country, people want children to go to school to get them out of the house. Malala covered her face while in a fit of giggles at his joke.

The Queen and Malala spoke abut the importance of education.
The Queen and Malala spoke abut the importance of education.

Malala has met a host of famous faces on global tour

Malala Yousafzai is expected to meet the Queen of England at Buckingham Palace later today, adding another famous name on her global whistle stop tour to fight for young children to have the right to education.

Malala Obamas
Malala met the Obamas, including eldest daughter Malia (far left), at the White House on October 12.

The schoolgirl has been on a global whistle stop tour, meeting Bono, accepting a Pride of Britain award from David Beckham and chatting with the Obamas at the White House.

She urged Obama to stop using drone attacks and focus funds on educating Pakistani children instead.

Beckham Malala
David Beckham presented Malala with the Teenager of Courage award. Credit: ITV

Malala narrowly missed out on winning the Nobel Peace Prize last week but has released an autobiography, I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and was Shot by the Taliban to much acclaim.

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Malala to meet the Queen at Buckingham Palace

Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager shot in the head by the Taliban for campaigning for the right to an education, is expected to meet the Queen at Buckingham Palace later today.

Malala
Malala receives the International Children's Peace Prize 2013, in The Hague. Credit: PA

Malala, 16, has reportedly impressed Queen Elizabeth with her bravery and will attend the Commonwealth Universities and Education Reception at Buckingham Palace later this morning.

Read more: Chemical watchdog Nobel Prize

Read more: Malala tells story of day she was shot by Taliban

Queen's message 'at the heart' of baton

Photos of the baton for next year's Commonwealth Games have been released and a secret message to athletes written by the Queen is "at the heart" of the design.

Baton
The baton has been designed to represent Scotland's natural resources and industrial heritage. Credit: Glasgow 2014

Her majesty's message is inscribed on parchment made by hand in Glasgow, using linen and plant fibre.

It will be lit up from within by LED lights, but remain unreadable until the opening ceremony.

Organisers said the lattice is inspired by Glasgow's "rich industrial and architectural heritage".

The handle is made from elm wood found in the grounds of Garrison House on the Isle of Cumbrae and is a "tribute" to Scotland's natural resources.

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