The Queen’s Police Medal recognises those in the police for gallantry or distinguished service and is considered a top honour across the country.
ACC Wilson, who travelled to London on Wednesday, November 17 to receive her award, was appointed ACC in 2018 and was previously Head of Cleveland & Durham (Police) Special Ops Unit.
She said she was overjoyed to receive the award and said she couldn’t quite believe she had been recognised by the Queen.
“I still feel in awe,” she added.
“I still think of myself as a young kid on a council estate who left school with no qualifications at 16 – it makes me feel so privileged to do this job.
“When the letter came through and you see the chancery address on it, you almost don’t want to touch it.
“The Queen is such a special person, so it is an honour to be recognised by her.”
ACC Wilson travelled to Windsor with her husband Phil Wilson – and while guest numbers were limited due to coronavirus, she was also joined by her best friends for the occasion.
Her ID and paperwork were checked when she arrived at the historic venue on Wednesday, alongside 64 other people who were there to be honoured.
She said: “I put on best uniform and went to the gates and saw lots of people in their finery going through – it was great to see.”
ACC Wilson was presented with her award by Princess Anne – with each guest being briefed on the proper royal etiquette before they met face-to-face.
She said: “I was very nervous – we had a debriefing before we went in where we were told we could curtsy or do a neck bow and we were shown the proper way to do it.
“I greeted her, and we had a conversation about policing in Lincolnshire, my time at Durham and she asked me about being a hostage negotiator.”
ACC Wilson said it is important that awards like these exist and believes people from all levels of the police force should be recognised for the work they do keeping the community safe.
“I think it is massively important that awards like this exist – in this job we deal with critical challenges every day and it’s important that we recognise that.
“People in the force are doing fantastic work to keep people safe and they need to be appreciated.”
She added: “If anyone does want to say thank you for the work people are doing every day, either by sending a letter, or an email or even just saying thank you – it can make a difference.”