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Butter-fingers! Sophie Okonedo's big moment ruined when OBE medal drops on Prince Charles' foot

By Daily Mail Reporter

Momentous occasion: Prince Charles presents actress Sophie Okonedo with her OBE medal during an Investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace today

It was supposed to be a momentous, solemn, occasion.

But Sophie Okonedo's OBE medal reception during the investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace ended in laughter and red faces when she was forced to retrieve her pin from the feet of Prince Charles.

The future king had just presented the actress with the honour for services to drama when the pin he had attached the award to fell off her to dress to the floor.

Woops! A laughing Okonedo was forced to retrieve it from the prince's feet when her medal fell to the ground

Okonedo, 42, looked surprised by the mishap and then embarrassed but was put at ease by Prince Charles, who offered to retrieve it for her

She told reporters later that the 62-year-old prince was the perfect gentleman: 'The prince said, "I’ll pick that up for you,"' she said.

But the Oscar nominee, wearing an ankle-length floral dress, beat him to it, and bent down to collect the medal.

She added: 'It feels really good to get the OBE but I dropped it on the floor. So that was a bit embarrassing. I’m just glad I didn’t trip over.'

Red faces: The Oscar nominee looked embarrassed after the mishap

Perfect gentleman: The Prince put her at ease by offering to retrieve the medal for her, but she beat him to it

The mishap was witnessed by fellow honourees and friends and family members at the event, held in the ballroom at Buckingham Palace.

Mother-of-one Okonedo was nominated for best supporting actress Academy Award in 2005 for her role in the film Hotel Rwanda.

The London-based actress comes from humble beginnings and was brought up by her Jewish pilates instructor mother, Joan. Her father returned to his native Nigeria when Okonedo was a small child.

The actress worked on a clothes stall and took part in a writers’ course before landing a place at top theatre school Rada.

Laugh it off: The actress said later, 'I'm just glad I didn't trip over'

'Privilege': Okonedo received the honour for services to drama after a 20-year career

Her Oscar nomination led to tempting offers but the star decided to remain in Britain rather than opt for life in LA, as she did not want to relocate with her young daughter.

Okonedo was on screens during the summer in ITV1’s acclaimed crime drama Father and Son.

And at the start of the year she appeared in a television biopic portraying Winnie Mandela and even donned fat suits to emulate her character’s figure.

Acclaim: The actress was commended for her role as Winnie Mandela in the 2010 BBC TV movie

The role earned her a Bafta nomination and she was also shortlisted for another Bafta for playing a lawyer in the BBC drama Criminal Justice but missed out at the ceremony.

She said today: 'I feel really, really privileged to be here, especially as there are so many people who have done amazing things here.

'My career has been pretty even, the last 15 to 20 years have been a steady growth.

'My Winnie Mandela part was my favourite ever I think. A character like her is such an iconic character and she has all the ingredients; you get the chance to play the whole gamut of emotions.'

Stellar career: Sophie was nominated for an Academy Award for best supporting actress in 2005 for her role in Hotel Rwanda