Prince Charles paid tribute to Scout leader Rita Jarman’s six decades of service when he presented her with an MBE at Buckingham Palace.
He said: “Thank goodness we still have enhusiastic volunteers like you to help and support our young people.”
Rita, 82, of Sundon Park started her Scouting career as a cub mistress with the newly formed 33rd Luton (Stopsley School) Scout Group in 1951.
One of her then eight-year-old cubs, Terry Stock, went on to become Dunstable Mayor in 2014.
She and her husband Mike still help out at many Scout functions and are members of the Holy Cross Church on Marsh Farm.
Rita had her first brush with Royalty at the age of 24 when she was part of the press team who met the newly-crowned Queen Elizabeth at an international Scout Jamboree in Birmingham.
She said it was an honour to be awarded an MBE and she would wear it with pride.
The mother-of-two added: “Prince Charles was a real gentleman and very interested in my Scouting stories.
“The experience was just awesome and I was very nervous – I was so glad to have the support of my family at the Palace.”