'Nervous' Ennis gets CBE from Queen
Olympic gold medallist Jessica Ennis has received a CBE from the Queen - but was so nervous she forgot what she said.
The 27-year-old, who took heptathlon gold in last year's London Games, arrived at Buckingham Palace with fiance Andy Hill, whom she will marry this year.
Ennis, wearing a figure-hugging Antonio Berardi dress, said: "I'm feeling very excited, though it was nerve-wracking before. It's incredible to receive this."
Asked what the Queen said, Ennis replied: "You know when you're so nervous and you forget? She just said the summer was amazing, 'How's training going?', so it was very, very nice. It's all going well (training). I've had a bit of a cold so had a few days off. I've been training hard the past few weeks, it's going well."
Ennis was at the centre of a feel-good summer last year as Team GB made the nation proud with its Olympics medal haul. "It still doesn't feel real, to be honest," she said. "It was just an amazing year for British athletics and British sport and to be part of that in such a big way was incredible."
Ennis was joined by a host of other sports stars in a who's who of Olympic champions. The queen of the ring met the Queen of the realm as boxer Nicola Adams collected her MBE. The Leeds fighter ended 2012 as the first female to win an Olympic boxing gold medal and was awarded her MBE in the New Year Honours list.
She said: "I just didn't want to get anything wrong meeting the Queen and receiving my MBE. I think it was a bit of a mixture of excitement and nerves rolled into one. Usually I'll listen to music and my friends but I was talking to some of other guests receiving honours and they were just as nervous as I was. We were all calming each other down."
London 2012 long jump champion Greg Rutherford said he was more nervous about picking up his MBE from the Queen than competing in the Olympic final.
He said: "Every time I step out on to the runway, I have done it thousands of times before and I know what I have to do. There is obviously the pressure of the event.
"This is very, very different, you are meeting the most famous person in the world at the most iconic building in the world. You are surrounded by dignitaries and people who have done incredible things. I did not want to say the wrong thing, trip over or look like a real doughnut. I was really on edge."