07/29/2012

Olympics are golden opportunity for royals

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Princess Anne and her father Prince Philip enjoy a laugh before watching Zara Phillips compete  in equestrian eventing individual dressage at Greenwich Park on Sunday. (Getty Images)

There's another sport making itself known as the Olympics -- royal watching.

149471336Most of the action is in the stands, but it seems to add an extra little oomph to the proceedings. And it certainly is gaining just what the royals want -- some gold-medal PR points.

On Sunday, there were bluebloods at several London venues, most notably Prince Philip and Princess Anne watching Zara Phillips compete in the dressage portion of three-day eventing. But, if you looked hard enough, there was also Prince Albert and Princess Charlene (former Olympians both) from Monaco at the swimming. And Prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and Princess Maxima brought their whole family to the women's cycling road race on The Mall.

Those are just the warm-up acts for the coming days as Prince William, Kate and Prince Harry spread themselves around as ambassadors for Team Great Britain. Far from the standoff-ish royal presence of many decades past, the royals are diving into the public relations machinery the Olympics has to offer. In the long run, it all counts toward their very survival as an institution.

The Queen, even at 86, knows this better than most. Her star-turn as the Bond Queen at the opening ceremony set a tone other royals are quick to pick up. From beach volleyball to badminton to swimming to track, the royals intend to be exactly what the Games are perfect for -- cheerleaders for their countries.

Much is made of Zara Phillips' drive to earn an equestrian medal. The Queen's granddaughter made a solid impression in her Olympic debut, but it's nothing compared to golden opportunity these Games represent for all those royals sitting in the stands.

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Prince Willem-Alexander, second from right, of the Netherlands, his wife Princess Maxima and their daughters Princesses Alexia, Ariane and Amalia watch the women's cycling road race final at the finish line on at The Mall on Sunday. (Reuters)

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Zara Phillips gives High Kingdom a pat after performing during the equestrian eventing individual dressage at Greenwich Park on Sunday. (Reuters)

Comments

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Prince Philip does NOT look 91 in that photo. It is good to see that he is sharing this nice family moment with Anne.

Max and Wm-Alexander are great as always, with their adorable "A" team. It looks like they have Princess Mabel's children with them, as well.

Good article! :)

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