MBEs, OBEs and CBEs have all been awarded to some of our biggest sporting heroes for their achievements, resulting in the recipients making the trip to Buckingham Palace to see Her Majesty.
Metro.co.uk looks back at some of the biggest names to have met the Queen when receiving their honours, or at different events of importance, and the brilliant stories and memories they have of their encounter.
The seven-time F1 world champion opened up about a lunch he had been invited to with the monarch a year after being awarded his MBE in 2008.
He revealed how he initially got a dressing down from the Queen over his table manners before a butler accidentally stepped on one of her dogs.
He said: ‘There were about eight of us and I turned up after the Brazilian Grand Prix and I walked in and saw the seating plan and I was sat right next to her.
‘So I was excited, this is cool. So I sat down and she was to my right and I started to talk to her and she was like: “No, you speak that way first and I’ll speak that way, and I’ll come back to you.”
‘She spoke to the guy next to her for like five minutes and then she spent the rest of the time talking to me. It was really, really cool.
‘I had the best lunch with her, it was amazing, one of the butlers I think stepped on the dog.
‘I just always remember this dog yelling out because someone stepped on him accidentally.’
Four-time Olympic gold medalist Farah might well be one of the most recognizable British athletes of the last decade, but he insisted he was ‘surprised’ the Queen knew who he was when they first met.
Farah said: ‘Prince Harry was there – he’s a great character, he’s always up for a laugh, he’s a good lad and I remember Harry saying to the Queen, “He’s stopping [running].”
‘And she goes, “Mo, why are you stopping?” and I’m like, “I’ve done enough on the track.”
‘And she was like, “Leave him, he has done far too much running.” She kind of knew who I was, I was surprised.’
Former England and Manchester United footballer Beckham, who collected his OBE in 2003, said he always gets emotional when meeting Her Majesty.
‘Collecting my OBE was one of the proudest moments,’ he said.
‘That day was special for me because I brought my grandparents with me, it made me proud that I could bring them to somewhere that they worshiped for their whole lives.
‘Meeting the Queen, it doesn’t get any better than that.
‘You can feel the emotion, I can personally feel the emotion, because I just love everything about our Queen and what she represents.’
The 20-time Grand Slam champion met the Queen in 2010 as the British monarch visited the All England Club for the first time in 30 years.
‘I have had lunch next to the Queen. That was exciting,’ he said.
‘It was a big honour. She watched Andy Murray and I think they even scheduled the whole thing around her.
‘She was very sweet, very nice, very polite, of course, and just a pleasure to be around.’
British boxing champion Anthony Joshua recalled how his viewing of the Netflix series The Crown set him up nicely for his meeting with the Queen as he complimented her dress… but insisted he wasn’t flirting!
He explains: ‘I actually started watching The Crown on Netflix in the run up to it, and learned so much.
‘But what I realized from meeting her was that she’s actually such a normal person. Who we see today was once a young lady put in a position where she had to learn her role.
‘I just said hello and asked, “How are you?”
‘And then I said I know you’re extremely busy so I’m not going to keep you too long — and I told her that her dress matched her eyes really well.
I wasn’t flirting with her! She was very respectful, thanked me for coming and said I had made a lovely speech.
‘I wasn’t really expecting her to say, “Oh by the way, knock that out [Tyson] Fury!”
‘But in The Crown there’s a part where she’s encouraged to meet ordinary people as she’s growing up and one of them is a British champion boxer.
‘In the show she looks at her mum in disgust and I was like, “Oh my God, that’s what she thinks of me.”
‘She definitely wasn’t impressed and I knew that when meeting her there wasn’t much I could really do to impress her.’
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