10:15AM, Thursday 24 October 2013
It was a proud day for a former Holyport Primary School headteacher as she received her MBE in Prince William's first investiture ceremony.
Johanna Raffan, one of the founders of the National Association for Able Children in Education (NACE), was one of 85 people, including tennis champion Andy Murray, to receive honours at Buckingham Palace on Thursday, October 17.
The Ray Lea Road resident was one of a group of eight to found NACE in 1983, which supports the daily work of teachers providing for pupils with high abilities.
As part of her work, the 70-year-old has trained about 8,000 teachers around the world, including 1,500 in Wales as part of a role as an advisor to the Welsh Government.
Johanna brought along sister Gerda Roper, nephew Nicholas Roper and cousin, Grete Økland, on the day and was left impressed by the Duke of Cambridge in his new role.
"It was amazing," she said. "There were 85 of us receiving awards and, of course, it was his first and he was not going to be hurried. He was going to to take it at his pace.
"He's a man of the people and he's obviously going to do his own thing."
She added: "They do hundreds of them. It was very much a military exercise but you were made to feel like you were the only person there."
The Prince asked Johanna about her work in Wales, responding 'that's a lot of teachers' when she told him about the 1,500 she had worked with.
A Maidenhead resident since 1965, Johanna is now retired but is still actively involved with NACE and remains a trustee.
The 70-year-old has also served as a secretary for the European Council for High Ability (ECHA).
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