Diana Parkes, as co-founder and co-patron of The Joanna Simpson Foundation, has received her CBE from The Princess Royal at Windsor Castle.  

CBE is the highest ranking Order of the British Empire award, and she has received it for her services to vulnerable children suffering from domestic abuse and domestic homicide.

Diana, who lives in the Isle of Man, co-founded the Joanna Simpson Foundation in 2014 following the brutal killing of her daughter Joanna Simpson in 2010.

Joanna was bludgeoned to death with a claw hammer within earshot of their two young children by her estranged husband, Robert Brown, one week before the finalisation of their divorce.

Her body was found five days later buried in a pre-dug grave in Windsor Great Park.

Joanna Simpson was killed in 2010
Joanna Simpson was killed in 2010 (Joanna Simpson Foundation )

And despite evidence of considerable planning, Brown was convinced of manslaughter due to diminished responsibility and sentenced to 26 years in prison.

Following the death of her daughter, Diana co-founded the Joanna Simpson Foundation alongside Hetti Barkworth Nanton (Joanna Simpson's close friend), which aims to transform the care, support and protection of children affected by domestic abuse.

In its first two years, the Foundation focused on raising awareness of the effects of domestic violence, helped to invest in services offering advice and support to carers and young people, and undertook focused research to understand how best to help children in these circumstances.

The Foundation has worked with a range of partners across the public, private and charitable sectors, including The Crown Prosecution Service to create its first ever Legal Guidance on Domestic Homicides.

And in 2016, Diana met the then-Duchess of Cornwall during a visit to the London office of SafeLives.

Queen Camilla has since credited the moment of hearing Diana’s story as the turning point which inspired her to raise awareness around domestic violence. The pair were reunited for an interview with Emma Barnett in 2022 for BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour.

They met again at Government House in March during the Queen’s visit to the Isle of Man.

Speaking after receiving the CBE, Diana said: ‘I felt incredibly honoured to have received my CBE today from The Princess Royal at Windsor Castle.

‘The Princess was incredibly welcoming and warm. It will be an day that neither me or my family will ever forget.  

‘Whilst today is a day of celebration for me and my family and a surreal opportunity, it is also very bittersweet as I would not have received a CBE had my daughter, Jo, not been brutally killed by her estranged husband. 

‘With this honour, I vow to continue ensuring children who are impacted by domestic violence and domestic homicide are supported and protected under the Foundation set up in my daughter’s name.’