Prince William presents MBE to St Albans entrepreneur Zoe Jackson

Zoe Jackson from St Albans is made an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) by Prince Will

Zoe Jackson from St Albans is made an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) by Prince William at Windsor Castle. Picture: Jonathan Brady/Press Association Images - Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Images

She has met the Queen at Buckingham Palace, dined with the Duke of York at St James’s Palace and now, a St Albans entrepreneur has received an MBE from the Duke of Cambridge.

Zoe Jackson, director of the Living the Dream Performing Arts Company, was at an investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle on Tuesday (8), where she was honoured for her services to performing arts and young entrepreneurs.

In June this year, it was announced that the 26 year old had received an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

After attending the ceremony, Zoe said that Prince William had impressed her with his knowledge of her background, along with that of 60 fellow award recipients also at Windsor.

Zoe told the Herts Advertiser: “Prince William had taken the time to learn what everyone did. He knew about Living the Dream, and we had a lovely chat.


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“I asked if he could dance, and he said, ‘only at parties’. So I replied that I could teach him to dance. We talked about my work with young people.”

Zoe, who also enjoyed a tour of Windsor Castle, added: “He was really approachable, and the fact that he memorised what I and others do was great. Prince William was interested in my work, and it was a lovely, lovely day.

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“It was an amazing experience, and it’s such a huge honour.”

She also spoke to royal press officials at the castle, particularly about government funding cuts for drama, music and arts.

Earlier this year, the entrepreneur was one of the first ever recipients of the Queen’s Young Leaders Awards, for inspiring and empowering young people to live their dreams, and championing young talent through the arts.

She received the accolade from the monarch at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace in June this year, followed by a formal dinner at St James’s Palace with the Duke of York which was attended by other members of the royal family and celebrities including David Beckham.

Zoe set up the company at the age of 16, in 2006, to inspire young people and to subsidise her own performing arts education.

In the nine years since then, the company has been expanded to include a school of performing arts, a professional dance company and talent agency.

Zoe also launched a charity, the Dream Foundation, which supports young people at a disadvantage, giving them access to the arts.

She said: “To be honoured twice in one year is incredible and receiving an MBE is very humbling.”

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