Olympic swimming champion Tom Dean joked that he “had the worst Thursdays” as he collected his MBE for swimming services Art Buckingham Palace.

The 22-year-old said he had “a little chat” with Princess Royal who said she was “incredibly proud” of him.

The first was the two-time Olympic champion British The swimmer has won two gold medals at the same Games in Tokyo 2020 in more than a century, and has set his sights on more glory at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham with the England team.

When asked how his day went, he replied, “Not much. I was just saying that my Thursdays were the worst. No, it was absolutely incredible.”

Looking ahead to the Commonwealth Games at the end of the month, he said: “I think we will come home with quite a lot of medals, which will be interesting.”

The Princess Royal at Buckingham Palace receives Tom Dean MBE (Yu Mok/Pennsylvania)

(PA Media)

He told the PA news agency that the success at the World Cup in Hungary had given him “a lot of confidence” for the future, adding: “I feel very good. And it’s great to know that I got my results just a few weeks ago.”

The 22-year-old said the crowd would make a “massive difference” as it “lifts the whole team”.

“They (the Games) are just in Birmingham, (the main crowd) is packed, 5,000 people in this new aquatic centre,” he said.

He said it was “a privilege in itself” to see the inside of the palace.

Dean became a two-time Olympic champion, winning gold medals in the 4x200m freestyle relay and the 200m freestyle in his Games debut.

Dylan Fletcher-Scott at Buckingham Palace (Yui Mok/Pennsylvania)

(PA Media)

He was among a number of other sports stars to collect awards, including Olympic champion Dylan Fletcher-Scott, who received an MBE for services to sailing.

Fletcher-Scott made Team Great Britain sailing history at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics by winning the gold medal in the 49ers with Stuart Bittell.

Of his conversation with the Princess Royal, he told PA: “We talked about the future of sailing and inspiring the next generation of kids.”

He said the next generation of sailing was “for everyone”, it was “faster and more fun”, and praised schemes which are increasing access to sailing.

“You have the Andrew Simpson Foundation in Weymouth, which is now opening centers around the world. And they take kids from all backgrounds and you come and swim for £5 and they teach you to swim.’

He added: “For so many kids (it’s) amazing because no matter what your background is, once you’re on the water you have freedom and you’re in control.”

Fletcher-Scott said his parents were ballet dancers, but he “didn’t like ballet at all” so he ended up taking up sailing.

“I ended up getting into it at 13 or 14 and started racing and then progressed through it pretty quickly and here I am today.”

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