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Game Of Thrones’ Emilia Clarke made MBE in Windsor Castle ceremony

Actress Emilia Clarke has said that she felt “ill-equipped” to be a normal person again after she almost died from a brain haemorrhage.

The Game Of Thrones star joined JD Wetherspoon founder Sir Tim Martin and former chancellor Sir Sajid Javid as they collected their honours from the Prince of Wales at Windsor Castle on Wednesday.

Clarke was made an MBE alongside her mother Jenny as co-founders of SameYou, a brain injury recovery charity they established after the actress survived two brain haemorrhages.

The charity focuses on the rehabilitation of patients after they leave hospital.

Clarke had her first brain haemorrhage in 2011, a month after she had finished filming the first season of Game Of Thrones.

Emilia Clarke
Clarke and her mother Jennifer are co-founders and trustees of SameYou (Andrew Matthews/PA)

She said the hardest part of her illness was coming home and realising she was on her own.

“You spend a month in hospital, every day they tell you you’re going to die,” she said.

“And then you go home, and you have to live with that.

“I found that incredibly difficult, and my family found it incredibly difficult.

“You are so taken care of, and so supported, and then you are let out into the world.

“And it seems terrifying, and you feel like you are ill-equipped to be a normal person again because you have just been told that you are going to die every three seconds.

“That was the hardest adjustment, and then I did a film set and I said: ‘Oh, this is mental anyway’, so…”

Sajid Javid
Former chancellor Sajid Javid is given a knighthood by the Prince of Wales (Yui Mok/PA)

Clarke said William made her and her mother feel “so comfortable” while he presented them with their honours.

“I think I underestimated the magical nature of being here and the ceremony of the whole thing,” she said.

“His Royal Highness William was just delightful and made us feel so comfortable.”

Her mother said that William was “very well briefed” about their charity and why they were there.

Clarke joked that she thought her mother was going to ask the prince to be on the board of trustees.

“I thought she was going to ask him to be on the board of trustees, but she didn’t,” she said.

Her mother added: “I nearly did.”

William confers a damehood
Dame Siobhain McDonagh receives the honour at Windsor Castle (Yui Mok/PA)

The actress said that running a charity “is one of the hardest things I’ve had to do”.

“There are times when it feels like an uphill struggle that you don’t think you’re going to reach the top of at any point,” she said.

“There are lots of dark moments like that when you run a charity, and I speak for most people who run a charity who feel the same way.

“So to get something like this… it gives you such a boost of energy and momentum.”

Asked about her next project, Clarke said that she had a few new productions in the pipeline, including An Ideal Wife, a film about Oscar Wilde’s spouse, Constance Lloyd.

“That’s now happening next year,” she said.

Lydia Otter
Lydia Otter was made an MBE at the ceremony (Andrew Matthews/PA)

“I am playing Oscar Wilde’s wife.”

She added: “There’s a huge amount that we don’t know about her.”

Lydia Otter, who provides autistic people with work experiences on her family’s beef farm in Wiltshire, was also made an MBE on Wednesday.

She said it was “quite extraordinary” to be honoured, adding that William was “so gracious, and so knowledgeable”.

Asked what wider society can do for people with autism, she said that it can accept that they are “more than how they present”.

“They need to be given opportunities,” Ms Otter said.

“It does take them time, much longer to learn practical skills than it would take you or me, but they still want to learn it. So it’s being understanding and also putting the opportunities in front of them and believing in them.”

Other people recognised at the investiture ceremony included Labour MP Dame Siobhain McDonagh, for political and public service, and director Betsy Gregory, who was made an OBE for services to dance.