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MBE is icing on the cake for Paralympic star Helena Lucas
PARALYMPIC sailing star Helena Lucas said that receiving an MBE was the icing on the cake at the end of a fantastic year.
She became the first British sailor ever to win a Paralympic gold, during the 2012 Games, taking the top spot in the 2.4mR class.
And yesterday the Portland resident received her MBE for services to sailing at Buckingham Palace from Princess Anne.
Helena, who lives in Fortuneswell, said: “It was really good, a fantastic day.
“It’s the icing on the cake for what has been a fantastic year.”
She added: “It’s been such a lovely day, it’s been brilliant.”
Helena went to the palace with her husband Stephen and mum and dad Val and Geoff.
Princess Anne presented her with her MBE.
The 37-year-old said it was lovely to have received the award from the Princess Royal, who is the president of the Royal Yachting Association.
She said: “It was really nice and I had a nice chat to her.”
Princess Anne asked Helena about the 2.4mR class.
Helena said: “She seemed to know quite a bit about me and the boat.”
Helena said she remembered the Princess Royal coming down to the Youth National competitions when she was competing.
Helena added that she was ‘really quite nervous’ going up to collect the award and joked that she kept thinking ‘don’t fall over’.
She said it had been wonderful to meet the other people receiving awards, from charity workers to armed service personnel.
She said: “It’s such an honour to be amongst those people.”
She added: “It’s really humbling.
“You realised how special it is. It’s really amazing.”
Helena was dressed for the day by Debenhams, who kindly donated a £150 voucher, and made use of the free personal shopping service in the Bournemouth store where personal shopper Gail Jirat helped her pick her ‘absolutely perfect’ outfit.
She thanked Debenhams for their generosity and said she had received lots of compliments on her outfit.
Helena said she would be spending last night celebrating with her friends and family.
She said receiving the MBE had been an amazing experience.