PARALYMPIC star Stephanie Millward says she found rubbing shoulders with royalty at Buckingham Palace even more nerve-wracking than chasing medals.
The 30-year-old Corsham swimmer, who claimed five medals at London 2012, was honoured at a special reception along with over 200 other Great Britain Olympic and Paralympic heroes on Tuesday.
Millward, who was accompanied by fiancé Adrian McHugh, met Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton and also had her wedding, which is set to take place on May 4 next year, given the royal seal of approval by the Queen.
“It was wonderful and absolutely fantastic,” said Paralympic star Millward.
“When you’re swimming, you learn to block out your nerves because you’ll go more slowly if you’re nervous but this was completely different. It was so nerve-wracking.
“The Queen was seeing how heavy my medals were because I had all five with me. We also told her about our wedding too and she said congratulations to us, which was fantastic.
“Meeting royalty is not something that you ever expect to do and I was so happy to be able to do it.”
Millward says that she is still basking in her summer exploits.
She added: “I’ve been spending so much time going to schools and showing my medals to people so I re-live it every day. It still all feels to fresh to me because of that and I’m still trying to inspire people.”
Bradford on Avon’s Ed McKeever, who won gold in the K1 200m sprint canoeing at the Olympics was also at the reception.