Ellie Simmonds shares disappointment over meeting Prince Charles Wish it was the Queen

Saturday Kitchen: Ellie Simmonds discusses getting OBE

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Former Paralympian swimmer Ellie Simmonds appeared on the latest instalment of Saturday Kitchen with comedian Bill Bailey. During the Platinum Jubilee themed instalment, the 27-year-old was asked about meeting Prince Charles. However, she admitted she was gutted that the Queen did not present her with her OBE.

Ellie had the honour of meeting the monarch at the tender age of 14 following her success at the Bejing Summer Paralympics in 2008.  

She won gold medals in the 100 metres and 400 metres freestyle swimming events when she was 13. 

The Paralympian opened up to Saturday Kitchen presenter Matt Tebbutt about meeting the Queen, admitting she was extremely “nervous”. 

Ellie said: “I was able to take my parents and my grandma as well, and my grandma is the same age as the Queen. 

“For me, it was quite nice because it felt like she was like my grandma.” 

She added: “I was nervous, yes, but I was more nervous about not messing up.” 

The athlete explained she had to follow a series of rules while meeting the monarch in Buckingham Palace which she was worried about.

“You can’t show your back to her, so you have to walk backwards,” Ellie said.

“So as a 14-year-old I was just so nervous about doing that as the Queen is so iconic and I didn’t want to disrespect her so, I was more nervous about messing that up than anything else.” 

A couple of years later Ellie received an OBE and became the youngest person ever to have received the honour. 

However, Ellie revealed she was “disappointed” Prince Charles gave her the medal. 

She told the host: “Yes I know he’s going to be our future King but the Queen is just, yeah, I wished it was the Queen. 

“But I am glad I got the Queen first and then Charles after that.” 

Bill chimed in while she was explaining the moment she met Charles: “Yes, you had the top banana first.” 

Turning the conversation back toward the Queen, Ellie said: “You get a bit nervous and you don’t know where to put your hands. 

“And then you are talking to her and you are fine, but at the start, you are like, ‘Where do I put everything?'”

Ellie went on to compete in the London 2012 Summer Paralympics and repeated her gold medal performance to win the 400-metre freestyle. 

She also competed in the 2016 Rio Paralympics and defended her gold medal for the 200-metre individual medley.

She announced her Paralympic retirement last September after missing out on a medal in the Tokyo Paralympics in 2020. 

Saturday Kitchen continues next Saturday at 10am on BBC One. 

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