David Cameron has hailed Great Britain's "incredible summer" of sport as the Queen hosted a glittering Buckingham Palace for Olympic and Paralympic heroes.
Star sportsmen and women who won gold for the nation during the summer's extravaganza of sport were invited to the palace to mark their achievements.
The Prime Minister joined the athletes and senior figures like Lord Coe who helped make the Games a success at the palace, where the Queen celebrated their efforts with the Duke of Edinburgh, Duchess of Cambridge and other members of the Royal Family.
Mr Cameron said: "I think people will look back and just think, 'what an incredible summer' - success after success, medal after medal and the whole country putting on its very best face for the world. What matters now is that we maximise the momentum and the legacy following the Olympics and Paralympics.
"We had a cabinet meeting about that today and Seb Coe was there, and we were talking about the physical legacy of East London, the important economic benefits we want, there's the sporting legacy carried through to Rio and school sport, there's also the legacy in terms of attitude to disabilities, which I think is a real chance of a step change in our country."
Team GB began the summer's medal rush by winning 65 in total, including 29 golds, an achievement that was hailed as the athletes' "greatest ever" performance by Andy Hunt, their chef de mission for London 2012. The Paralympics saw Great Britain achieve unprecedented success with 120 medals, including 34 golds.
A line-up of Olympic and Paralympic athletes who have all won three or more golds met the royal party, who included the Duke of York and daughter Princess Beatrice, the Princess Royal, President of the British Olympic Association, and the Earl and Countess of Wessex.
They included three-time Olympic cycling champion Jason Kenny, who won two golds at London 2012, swimmer Ellie Simmonds, who now has a total of four Paralympic titles, plus cyclist Sarah Storey and wheelchair racer David Weir, who each won four golds.
Proudly wearing her three golds from London 2012, Para-equestrian rider Sophie Christiansen, who is now a five-time Paralympic champion, said she was very excited to see the Queen. Christiansen said: "She asked me whether I enjoyed the Games, which obviously were phenomenal."
Para-equestrian rider Lee Pearson, who won his tenth Paralympic gold medal at the Games along with a silver and bronze, met Kate who picked up his gold medal, won in the mixed team championship. The Duchess revealed she has developed a passion for horses and is learning to ride.