The Queen, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry have saluted Britain’s Olympic heroes as the last of Team GB’s record-breaking athletes prepare for their homecoming on Tuesday.
Team GB won 67 medals in Brazil to exceed their tally as hosts four years ago, including 27 golds, which saw them finish second in the medal table and ahead of China for the first time in modern Olympic history.
“I offer my warmest congratulations to the athletes of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the Commonwealth for their success at this year’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro,” said the Queen.
“The outstanding performance of Team GB reflects the talent and hard work of the athletes and their support teams. I send my best wishes to all those who contributed to this remarkable achievement.”
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry said: “London 2012 was a hard act to follow, but you have made the entire country proud of everything you have accomplished.
“We all know that this success does not come easy and is the culmination of years of hard work, passionate commitment, sheer grit and determination.”
Those Team GB athletes who stayed on in Rio for Sunday night’s closing ceremony, such as swimmer Adam Peaty and sprinters Dina Asher-Smith and Adam Gemili, are due to touch down at Heathrow on Tuesday morning.
They are set to arrive in a special British Airways aircraft sporting a golden nose and the name “victoRIOus”, and designated the flight number BA2016.