London 2012 stars and Adrian Lester collect honours at Buckingham Palace

14:01 28 February 2013

Jessica Ennis was made a CBE by the Queen today. Picture: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire

Jessica Ennis was made a CBE by the Queen today. Picture: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire

The stars of London 2012 received their honours from the Queen today to cap an unforgettable 12 months, but have revealed how nervous they were to collect these particular gongs.

Jason Kenny admitted he was "terrible with words" in front of the Queen. Picture: Lewis Whyld/PA WireJason Kenny admitted he was "terrible with words" in front of the Queen. Picture: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire

Athlete Jessica Ennis received her CBE from the Queen today - but was so nervous she forgot what Her Majesty said.

The 27-year-old, who took heptathlon gold in last year’s London Games, arrived at Buckingham Palace with fiance Andy Hill.

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.

Nicola Adams is formally appointed an MBE. Picture: Lewis Whyld/PA WireNicola Adams is formally appointed an MBE. Picture: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire

“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.”

“It still doesn’t feel real, to be honest,” she added.

“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.”

For double gold winning cyclist Jason Kenny, today’s ceremony was more nerve-racking than competing.

Joanna Rowsell was delighted after picking up her honour. Picture: Lewis Whyld/PA WireJoanna Rowsell was delighted after picking up her honour. Picture: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire

After meeting the Queen, he said: “It’s the ultimate pressure situation.

“I’m not very good with words especially when the pressure’s on.

“It’s terrible.”

Proud

Adrian Lester admitted he had been to Buckingham Palace before. Picture: Lewis Whyld/PA WireAdrian Lester admitted he had been to Buckingham Palace before. Picture: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire

Boxer Nicola Adams was also feeling the nerves. She is no stranger to confrontation after outclassing China’s Ren Cancan to win gold last summer.

But today she said: “I get nervous for every competition.

“Today I just didn’t want to get anything wrong meeting the Queen and receiving my MBE.”

Wearing Kurt Geiger shoes and a black Phillip Lim jacket, the Leeds born fighter said her mother Dee was “more proud than I am - she’s so happy”.

Joanna Rowsell, who was given her MBE for services to cycling, said she plans to do an Open University degree in natural sciences and one day work as a sports scientist.

Receiving another award for her mantel piece presented her with no fears, she said.

“After the Olympics I don’t think I’ll ever be nervous for anything again.

“I don’t think you can ever have that level of pressure and expectation so I honestly wasn’t nervous.”

And waiting to receive his OBE for services to drama was like “waiting in the wings” for stage and screen actor Adrian Lester.

The 44-year-old received his award from the Queen at Buckingham Palace today and said his family’s joy had made him very proud.

Lester, an award-winning theatre actor who has had successful television roles including playing conman Mickey Bricks in the drama Hustle, was positioned in between Kenny, and an anxious academic.

He said: “It reminded me of the job I do, because in front of me was Jason Kenny and he was very nervous, and behind me was another guy who was very nervous.”

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