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During the glitzy event, Zeta-Jones will be handed the William R Hopkins medal, the society's highest honour, in recognition of her Welsh heritage and pride.

Her husband Michael Douglas, who recently overcame throat cancer, is due to attend the gala with her.

Professor Peter Stead, the social historian and broadcaster who founded the University of Wales Dylan Thomas Prize, says, "I am absolutely thrilled Catherine is being given this honour by the St David's Society of the State of New York. She has done such a lot to promote Wales and the Welsh around the world through her work. But she is also an active supporter of charities and other causes including the arts and her role as a backer of the Dylan Thomas Prize has been a pivotal one.

"She thoroughly deserves to be honoured by New Yorkers who are either Welsh or have Welsh backgrounds.

"I'm told by the organisers Michael Douglas will be with her and I'm sure everyone will be pleased to see him. It promises to be a great night of celebrating Welshness in the heart of one of the most influential cities in the world."