Clare Balding has revealed she was “terribly nervous” when she received her OBE from Princess Anne on Thursday.
“I got terribly nervous about this,” the presenter told reporters, after the ceremony at Windsor Castle. “I’ve been pretty busy then suddenly yesterday I thought ‘gosh I’d better make sure everything’s in order for tomorrow’.
“I’m still a bit shakey now, I talked absolute gibberish, absolute gibberish – I was just hopeless. Mucked my curtsey up, nearly fell over as I turned and walked away, messed up properly, but luckily not too many people had seen that.”
Clare, who attended the investiture with her partner Alice Arnold, was being honoured for her 18 years of service to radio and television that has seen her present Countryfile, Royal Ascot and BBC Sports Personality of the Year.
She also won praise for her coverage of the London 2012 Olympics and the Paralympics.
The popular broadcaster also explained she had known Anne for many years: “I’ve known the Princess Royal a long time, we rode against each other as amateur jockeys – we had an incident at Beverley racecourse many years ago so this feels like the story coming full circle in a nice way.
“I bumped her very badly in a race – it was all my fault. I think it’s quite a funny incident and I wrote about it in my book.”
She added: “This is an incredible personal moment and it’s lovely to have this recognition.”