Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip

Britain's Queen Elizabeth is to stage a reception for Team GB athletes.

The monarch and her husband Prince Philip will host a garden party at Buckingham Palace on October 23 in honour of London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic stars, with all medallists among the 350 invited guests.

A source said: "The queen is very proud of what the amazing athletes achieved in our wonderful summer of sport and wanted to personally thank them.

"It will be a very plush affair and there are a few athletes more than a little excited about the chance to see the inside of the Palace.

"It will be a fitting finale to a truly spectacular year of sporting success for Britain."

Despite the formal setting, organisers insist the event will have a more casual feel - and the Olympians will attend wearing their Stella McCartney-designed Adidas tracksuits.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: "The reception this month is an opportunity for the queen to say thank you to the medallists of 2012.

"It will be an informal evening drinks party held at the Palace for around 350 guests.

"The garden party in the summer will involve far greater numbers and recognise the work of all the people who made the Games possible, including the Gamesmakers and volunteers."