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It’s wonderful to be able to look somebody in the eye, William tells netballer

Geva Mentor towered over her fellow recipients in her high heels during the Buckingham Palace investiture ceremony.

Geva Mentor with the Duke of Cambridge (Yui Mok/PA)
Geva Mentor with the Duke of Cambridge (Yui Mok/PA)

By Tony Jones, PA Court Correspondent

The Duke of Cambridge joked it was “wonderful” to be able to look someone in the eye when he made one of Britain’s tallest sportswomen a CBE.

Gold medal-winning netball champion Geva Mentor, who stands 6ft 2.5in tall, towered over her fellow recipients in her high heels during the Buckingham Palace investiture ceremony – and came with a netball for William’s daughter Princess Charlotte.

Ms Mentor, a former England captain, helped the national team secure bronze in the 2019 Netball World Cup and with her teammates won a Commonwealth gold last year.

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Geva Mentor with her CBE medal (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

She said: “This is very humbling, but one thing I remember is it’s not just about me or for me, it’s symbolising where netball is at and hopefully there’s many more of these wonderful awards to follow.

“I guess my contribution has been over almost two decades now and I realise the position I’m in to be able to inspire and engage with people out there. Not just the fans but people across the world and get them into, not just netball, but sport to keep healthy and socialise.”

Speaking about her brief chat with the duke, she added: “He mentioned the height first of all, he said, ‘It’s wonderful to be able to look somebody in the eye’.

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William talks to Geva Mentor (Yui Mok/PA)

“He said that netball made sense with the height that I have, and he mentioned the Commonwealth Games in 2018 and our achievements. It’s fantastic that the royal family are aware of what was going on there because it was a moment in history, which was not only great for us personally but for netball in England.

“I mentioned that I had a netball for little Charlotte, I think it’s so important that kids know what netball is and grow up with it.”

PA

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