Queen’s death: Sports stars recall meeting Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

The Queen has met a host of sporting stars during her time on the throne (Picture: Getty)

The Queen handed out hundreds of honors to sports stars and every single recipient has a story to tell.

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.

Lewis Hamilton

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.

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton received his MBE in 2009 (Picture: Johnny Green/WPA Pool/Getty Images)

‘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.’

Mo Farah

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].”

Mo Farah spoke with Prince Harry and Queen Elizabeth II (Picture: Jonathan Brady – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

‘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.’

David Beckham

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.

David Beckham has met the Queen on more than one occasion (Picture: Anwar Hussein/WireImage)

‘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.’

Roger Federer

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.

The Queen made an appearance at the All England Tennis Club in 2010 (Picture: Oli Scarff – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

‘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.’

Anthony Joshua

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?”

Anthony Joshua

British boxer Anthony Joshua towered over the Queen when the two met at a Commonwealth Day Service in 2020 (Picture: Ben Stansall-WPA Pool/Getty Images)

‘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.’

MORE: When could football resume in the UK following the Queen’s death?

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