Olympics are golden opportunity for royals
There's another sport making itself known as the Olympics -- royal watching.
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.
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)