A MINISTRY of Defence worker from Chepstow who was awarded an OBE in the Queen's birthday honours this year has spoken of her delight after meeting Her Majesty during a "magical" ceremony at Windsor Castle.

The Queen presented Patricia Fernon with her OBE medal during the investiture ceremony on Friday, November 2.

"It was a great honour and a lovely day," Ms Fernon said. "It was all quite humbling."

Ms Fernon was awarded the honour for services to defence procurement. She was one of more than 50 honours recipients who met the Queen in Windsor last Friday.

"I found out about the OBE in June, and then around August time I was informed the presentation would be in November," she said.

"Since then I've been making sure I would get all the protocol right."

Ms Fernon, who said she had "only ever seen the Queen on TV" before last week's ceremony, made the trip to Windsor with her sister and two friends.

"I felt pretty nervous," Ms Fernon said as she recalled her meeting with the Queen.

"It was a nervous excitement more than anything else – but [the Queen] put me at ease so quickly."

"Everyone at the castle worked hard to make sure we were all at ease."

The ceremony was followed by a tour of the castle and grounds, and a reception with champagne and canapes.

"It was a hundred times better than I could have imagined. It's magical being in places like that," Ms Fernon said.

"It was emotional, too, when I think how much my parents would have enjoyed it," she added.

Back in June, Ms Fernon told the South Wales Argus she was "delighted and very humble" that she had been recognised to receive an OBE.

In early December, Ms Fernon will retire from her post at the Ministry of Defence – one which has involved tours to the Falkland Islands and Bosnia.

Receiving the OBE from the Queen, she said, "has been the pinnacle of my career".

Ms Fernon will take up a new role as a magistrate for the Gwent area, starting in April next year.