Queen's aura marks track legend Meares during baton pass

Pirate IRWIN
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Retired Australian cyclist Anna Meares receives the baton from Britain's Queen Elizabeth II during the launch of the Queen's baton Relay for the XXI Commonwealth Games to be held in Gold Coast in 2018, in London, on March 13, 2017

Australian cycling great Anna Meares told AFP being handed the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games baton for the torch relay by Queen Elizabeth II is a personal high.

The 33-year-old who won two Olympic titles and 11 world golds said receiving the baton from Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace on Monday would be something to tell her grandchildren in the future.

Meares -- who was appearing in her role as an ambassador for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games which gets underway in April 2018 -- shared the duties on Monday with her great British rival and fellow retiree Victoria Pendleton.

"It was a pretty magical experience," she told AFP after she had appeared at the Gold Coast Games presentation at Australia House.

"The aura, the presence she has and the attention she draws, she just commands with such ease and such grace.

"You see her in pictures and moving images on television but to be actually in her presence to shake her hand and receive the baton as the first torch bearer!

"I've done some amazing things in my sporting career and I'm not sure much will ever surpass being the (Australian team) flag-bearer (at the 2012 Olympics opening ceremony).

"However, on both a personal experience and personal level and what thanks to sport and the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games has allowed me to be in that place (with the Queen in Buckingham Palace) well the grandkids will always know about that!"

Meares admitted she had tinges of regret she would not be bowing out at the Commonwealth Games where the velodrome bears her name.

Wednesday's meeting with the British monarch.

"She came to Australia with the Duke of Edinburgh before the London Games," Mears said.

"I took my mum to a meeting at Parliament House (in Canberra) and I didn't realise there would be so many people, there were around 700.

"So I said to my mum, because she loves the Queen and little imagined she would ever see her let alone meet her, we would position ourselves to the right of the stage as that is where the Queen would exit from.

"However, right at the moment she was coming off they ushered forwards two lines of athletes in front of us."

Meares had all but given up that they would get close to the Queen, but she hadn't counted on the determination and wiliness of her mother.

"I thought we had missed the opportunity. But this is where I get my tactical nous from as my mum said 'don't worry she has to leave (the room) somehow' and so mum went and parked up at the exit and held her ground as more and more people came.

"She (mum) shook her hand as well and introduced me to her.

"I loved that excitement and pride on her (mother) face.

"For that generation Her Majesty has such an impact and to see that on my mums face and what it meant to my mum and for me to witness it is priceless."