State & CeremonialThe Cambridges

Jessica Ennis-Hill receives Damehood at Buckingham Palace

Former gold medal winning Olympian, Jessica Ennis-Hill, collected her Damehood from the Duke of Cambridge today in a ceremony held at Buckingham Palace.

Dame Jessica was named in the 2017 New Year Honours list for her services to athletics.

The 31-year-old retired from the heptathlon last September following the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, where she won a silver medal.

Four years earlier, she won gold at the 2012 London Olympics.

After the ceremony, Dame Jessica said: “Just to hear the national anthem in this kind of moment again is really special.

“I’ve so many amazing memories of standing on the podium and hearing it and to be here receiving a damehood, which I never imagined I would ever receive, is an incredible honour.”

“I’ve had more than I could ever imagine out of my career so I can’t stand here receiving a damehood and wish for any more.”

Accompanying Jessica to Buckingham Palace were her grandparents, mother and husband.

Also being honoured today by Prince William was Spice Girl Victoria Beckham.

Mrs Beckham received an OBE for services to the fashion industry.

After the ceremony, the 43-year-old said: “It was an absolute pleasure to be at Buckingham Palace today. I’m proud to be British, honoured and humbled to receive my OBE from the Duke of Cambridge.

“If you dream big and work hard you can accomplish great things.

“I’m so happy to share this very special occasion with my parents and husband; without their love and support, none of this would be possible.”

Academy and Tony award-winning actor Mark Rylance was also honoured at the investiture today.

Prince William presented him with a knighthood for services to theatre.