Britain’s greatest ever female Olympian – who won silver in Rio – was given the gong for services to rowing and charity.
Britain’s greatest ever female Olympian said it was a ‘magical’ feeling to be made a Dame in the New Year’s honours for services to rowing and charity.
Katherine, 41, spoke to the Scottish Sun as she travelled to her parent’s home in Edinburgh for Hogmanay.
She said: “I’m still very stunned – it will take a while to sink in I think.
“It’s an incredible honour.
“I received a letter a few weeks ago saying I was being considered for it so I’ve not had a definite confirmation.
“The letter is very official so you know it’s something very good for very bad.
“But it’s now been made public so I guess it’s happening.
“I was sworn to secrecy so I didn’t tell anyone – which in a way made it easier because it doesn’t feel real and you can live life normally.
“But it’s becoming real now.”
Katherine won her fifth medal in five straight Games at Rio 2016 as she and partner Vicky Thornley grabbed silver in the 2,000m double sculls race.
It followed a gold in London and silvers in Sydney, Athens and Beijing.
The Glaswegian rowing ace overtook swimmer Rebecca Adlington, 27 – who scooped a pair of golds and bronzes in two Games – as the most decorated British female.
Despite being made a Dame, she will not expect anyone to call her by her new title and revealed she was surprised to be nominated.
She said: “I told my family and they are thrilled and very excited but they won’t be calling me by my title and I wouldn’t want them to.
She said: “I never thought about this at all. You hear about people getting them but you never think you will be honoured like this.
“I’ve been in this sport 20 years and this was my dream.
“I’ve had some incredible experiences and for this to come along as well, it’s pretty magical.”