Note: The Official Olympic Logo is not to be used by bloggers, even those earning no money like me. So, I’m not using it. You’d think they’d WANT folks talking about it!
In Rio right now athletes, their friends and families, celebrities and royalty are assembling for the the 2016 Summer Olympic Games which open Friday. To put us all in the mood for the Games, I’m profiling the various royals who have competed in the Summer and Winter Olympics Games.
British Royal Family
Sources: Left–AP, Right
Princess Anne and Mark Phillips at 1976 Olympics (left)
Princess Anne awarding daughter Zara a Gold Medal for Equestrian, London, 2012
The British Royal Family has the makings of an Olympic dynasty! The Queen’s only daughter, Anne, the Princess Royal, her ex-husband, Mark Phillips and their daughter, Zara Phillips Tindall have all competed in Equestrian at the Games. Who knows? Maybe Zara’s little girl, Mia, could compete too? Of course her Dad, Mike Tindall, is a rugby legend–maybe she’ll compete at the games in Rugby 7s–a new sport at the Rio games this year. Here’s how the family has done in Olympic competition.
1968 Olympics in Mexico City: Reserve Rider, did not compete but received Gold medal as a team member.
1972 Olympics in Munich: Team Member, Gold medal in mixed 3-Day Eventing.
1976 Olympics, Montreal: Reserve Rider.
1980 Olympics, Moscow–boycotted by Britain
1988 Olympics, Seoul: Team Member, Silver medal in mixed 3-Day Eventing.
1976 Olympics, Montreal. Team Member. [No Medal.]
Zara Phillips [Tindall]
2012 Olympics, London: Team Member, Silver in mixed 3-Day Eventing.
The Queen’s first cousin (also a cousin, by birth, of Prince Philip as well) Prince Michael of Kent was a “non-traveling, reserve member” of the British Bobsleigh Team for the 1972 Sapporro, Japan, Winter Games.
Royal Family of Monaco
Monaco could also have a royal Olympic dynasty on its hands. Both Prince Albert II and his consort, Princess Charlene, are both Olympians. Who knows what the future may hold for the couples adorable twins, Jacques and Gabrielle?
Prince Albert II of tiny Monaco competed for his country in five consecutive Winter Olympics in the 2 and 4 man bobsleigh. He did not win any medals.
Photo source: Getty [embeddable]
As Charlene Wittstock, as she was then, competed in swimming for South Africa at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia. She did not win any medals.
Photo source: Getty [embeddable]
Greek and Spanish Royal Families
Constantine receives his Olympic Gold Medal
It’s not secret that sailing is an incredibly expensive sport just like equestrian. For that reason it should be no surprise that many royals have competed in Olympic Sailing. Former King Juan Carlos of Spain (1972), his wife Queen Sofia (1960, as a Princess of Greece) was a reserve member of the Greek sailing team, their son, Filipe VI, (1992) and daughter daughter Princess Cristina (1988) ALL competed in sailing (years are in parentheses). None received medals. Queen Sofia’s brother, King Constantine II of Greece, competed on the 1960 Greek team and won the nation’s first Olympic Gold medal in decades.
Infanta Cristina’s husband, Iñaki Urdangarin, competed at three Olympics in Team Handball winning 2 Bronze team medals.
Norwegian and Danish Royal Families
FUJISAWA, JAPAN – OCTOBER 02: (CHINA OUT, SOUTH KOREA OUT) Prince Harald of Norway attends a training session ahead of the Tokyo Olympic Sailing Team 5.5m at Enoshima Island on October 2, 1964 in Fujisawa, Kanagawa, Japan. (Photo by The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images)
Source: Left Unknown Right Getty
Olav V in 1928 (2nd from left) and his son, Prince Harold at the 1964 Games
Father and son, Olav V (a grandson of King Edward VII of England) and his son, Harold V, both competed in Sailing. Olav won a Gold medal at the 1928 Olympics in Amsterdam. Harold was not so lucky. He did not win any medals at the 1964 Tokyo Games.
Other Royal Families
There is an excellent list here on all the other minor European Royals and Middle Eastern Royals who have competed in both the Winter and Summer Games.
Do you enjoy Royal spotting at the Olympics? I sure do! I enjoyed all the royal pictures from the last Olympics–the one where James Bond sent the Queen on a Mission to open the Games. Here’s that great Olympic moment again, just for fun!