British medal-winning riders mingled with royalty last night (Tuesday 23 October) at a reception at Buckingham Palace.
The Queen, Prince William, Kate Middleton and Princess Anne were all on hand to meet Britain’s Olympic and Paralympic medallists.
Riders Charlotte Dujardin, Carl Hester, Ben Maher, Scott Brash, Peter Charles, Natasha Baker, Lee Pearson, Sophie Christiansen and Sophie Wells were among those present at the Royal reception.
“It was amazing,” double gold Paralympic medallist Natasha told H&H.
“I was in the line of people to meet The Queen when she came in — it was so surreal. I couldn’t believe that I was in Buckingham Palace and The Queen was standing in front of me chatting. It was a huge honour to be invited, it was a fantastic celebration and the atmosphere was buzzing.”
About 225 athletes attended the event, which was in honour of Britain winning 65 medals in the Olympics and 120 in the Paralympics.
Charlotte Dujardin proudly tweeted: “Just met Kate Middleton! She’s gorgeous”.
While Ben Maher added: “Great evening at the Palace! Didn’t manage to meet The Queen but spoke with Kate Middleton, she was really nice.”
And Kate Middleton is reportedly learning to ride, despite being allergic to horses.
The Duchess of Cambridge told paradressage rider Lee Pearson she was having lessons during a conversation at last night’s reception.
“I had a right good chat to her,” Lee told national press. “We were chatting about horses. She said she was learning to ride. I said ‘if you ever want a dressage class, come up to Staffordshire’”.