LEEDS’S queen of the boxing ring met the Queen of the realm today as boxer Nicola Adams collected her MBE at Buckingham Palace.
The West Yorkshire 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.
Wearing Kurt Geiger shoes and a black Phillip Lim jacket for her big day, she said: “Today 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 today 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.”
The flyweight with a mega-watt grin has become of the of the most in-demand stars of Team GB’s success at the London 2012 Olympics. She now hopes to compete at the Rio 2016 Olympics.
Adams, 30, who has been a trailblazer for women’s sport, said: “I have not achieved everything that I want to achieve as a boxer. There is the world championships and getting a second gold medal at the Rio Olympics sounds good.”
She was watched during the awards ceremony by her proud mother Dee, who first took her to a gym at the age of 12, and her brother Kurtis.
“I think my mum’s more proud than I am,” she said. “She’s so happy. It’s gone from strength to strength for me.”
Since the Games she has been flooded with requests for television appearances, to meet politicians and mix with A-listers at film premieres.
Journalists at last year’s Boxing Writers’ Club ditched the 60-year tradition of being a men-only preserve to present her with their prized award for services to boxing at their annual dinner.
Just a few years ago Adams’ Olympic dream was uncertain.
She cracked a bone in her back in 2009 when she tripped and fell down the stairs on her way to a bout.
She was bed-bound for three months and out of the ring for a year.
Adams worked her way back and in to the ring as women’s boxing made its first appearance at the Olympics at the London 2012 Games.
The sport still had its doubters and vocal critics but the cheering crowd at London’s ExCel arena saw a high standard of women’s Olympic boxing that was thrilling, featuring top athletes.
Adams is also a three-times world championship silver medallist and a European champion.