Captain Hannah Graf, the UK’s highest ranking transgender soldier, yesterday collected her MBE from HRH Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, at Buckingham Palace. Speaking exclusively to OutNews Global, Graf commented, “It was a huge honour receiving my MBE today from the Duke of Cambridge, Prince William at Buckingham Palace. I feel a great sense of pride at the recognition for my services towards LGBTQ inclusion in the Armed Forces, and humbled to have been publicly acknowledged by both the British Army and the Royal Family.
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“This award is particularly poignant as it was awarded in the same month as the US President’s visit, shortly after the implementation of his ban on transgender military personnel. I feel truly privileged to have been not only allowed to serve my country for over a decade, but to have been celebrated and awarded for doing so. My heart and enduring respect goes out to those troops who have not been so fortunate as I have, and I hope for swift reversals to this unjust policy.”
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, together with Harry and Meghan – the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, are widely acknowledged as being the driving forces behind the modernisation of the British Royal Family, and are vocal supporters of LGBTQ inclusion. In 2017, the Duke of Cambridge was honoured at the British LGBT Awards as Straight Ally of the Year.