A Boeing 747 carrying 320 athletes and support staff landed at Heathrow airport at 10am in a gold-nosed British Airways aircraft with “victoRIOus” emblazoned on the side.
After winning 67 medals at the Games and finishing second in the overall table, Team GB are returning to talk of royal honours for their success.
Prime Minister Theresa May’s official spokeswoman said there would be “no formal cap” on the number of honours which can be awarded to the athletes.
The team’s plane - which also ferried pole vaults, javelins, bicycles and a 6.7-metre sail back from Rio - was loaded with 77 extra champagne bottles and treats for team members, who were offered a three-course menu.
They are due to face the media at a press conference shortly after landing. Read more
Team GB’s stunning success at the Games - which saw their biggest medal haul in a century with 27 golds, 23 silvers and 17 bronzes - drew the praise of the Queen and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
The sovereign offered her “warmest congratulations” for an “remarkable achievement”.
The Duke and Duchess, meanwhile, lauded the athlete’s achievement as an “inspiration to us all, young and old”.
Among the breakout stars of the 2016 Games in Brazil were three-times gold medallist Jason Kenny, who matched Sir Chris Hoy’s record six golds with his efforts in the velodrome.
Not to be outdone, his fiancee Laura Trott secured two gold medals of her own in the team pursuit and omnium.
In the pool, Adam Peaty smashed his own world record en route to winning the gold medal in breaststroke, Team GB’s first swimming medal in the men’s competition for 28 years.
Many stars of London 2012 also successfully defended their crowns four years on, including Mo Farah on the track, Nicola Adams in the boxing ring and Jade Jones on the taekwondo mats.
The Prime Minister announced that the triumph in Rio will be commemorated with a parade in Manchester and a further event in London in October.