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Call the Midwife actress Sarah Gordy is first woman with Down's syndrome to receive MBE

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Actress Sarah Gordy, who fans will know and love from shows including Call The Midwife and Upstairs Downstairs, became the first woman with Down's syndrome to receive an MBE on Wednesday! Sarah received her MBE from Prince William for services to the Arts and people living with disabilities, including her work as an ambassador for charity Mencap.

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She told reporters afterwards: "I've worked really hard in what I believe in," before adding: "I'd like to inspire others and empower others to believe in themselves, especially people with Down's syndrome." She also revealed that her parents were so proud that her mum broke down in tears, describing: "My mum cried when she first got the letter and I cried too. My dad was very proud of me and so was my sister, who is here with me today."

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TV fans will likely recognise Sarah from her time playing Sally Harper in Call The Midwife. Sally was a young woman with Down's syndrome who fell pregnant with Jacob Milligan, a young man with cerebral palsy, played by Colin Young. The important episode highlighted the treatment of people living with disabilities in British society in the late 1950s.

Sarah's sister shared an emotional tweet about the special day, writing: "@sarah_gordy sharing headlines with Dame Emma Thompson, as you do. Couldn't be prouder of my sister!" She was referring to actress Emma Thompson who also received her MBE on the same day. The 59-year-old, who collected the prestigious accolade in recognition of her services to drama, said she and Prince William "sniggered" at each other when she asked for a kiss. "I love Prince William, I've known him since he was little, and we just sniggered at each other," the star confessed. "I said, 'I can't kiss you, can I?' And he said, 'No don't'!"

Related: Ed Sheeran accepts MBE honour from Prince Charles [Cover Video]

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