Team Royal brings its best to Zara's silver triumph
For one day anyway, the most popular royal in Britain is Zara Phillips.
Cheered on my other members of the clan, Queen Elizabeth's granddaughter joined her Great Britain teammates in winning the silver medal in team equestrian eventing on Tuesday, a gruelling three-day test of horse and rider.
Capping it all off, Phillips' mother, Princess Anne, presented her with the medal and kissed her on both cheeks. Anne was the last member of the Windsor clan to compete in the Games, in 1976's equestrian competition, but this was the first medal for the bloodline. Zara's father, Capt. Mark Phillips, won gold and silver in two separate Games in the same event.
The royal cheering section was front and centre again, with Prince William, Kate (right photo), Prince Harry, Camilla and princesses Beatrice and Eugenie. Zara's parents, husband Mike Tindall, brother Peter Phillips and his wife Autumn completed the family contingent.
Phillips, 31, knoced down one fence rail to spoil a clean round, but her and the team's effort was enough to secure the silver behind Germany. When Tina Cox completed her ride, medal now assured, Prince William signalled the moment by delivering a high-fisted punch into the air.
A sea of union jacks waved among the cheers at Greenwich Park as Zara pumped her fist in celebration.
"Unfortunately we couldn't quite do it," Phillips said later. "We can't be disappointed with a silver medal because it's an amazing thing to be here."
The medal comes one day after the first anniversary of her wedding to Tindall. There was, she said, no time to celebrate but all the sacrifices for her sport have been worth it.
"When you get one of these (medals) put around your neck it brings it all back to you and you realize that everything was worth it.
"And of course it was amazing to receive the medal from my mum."
It was again a casually dressed royal cheering team, with William and Harry wearing their now familiar Team Great Britain shirts. Kate again wore her Canadian-designed Smythe blazer.
Following the event, Kate, Harry and William continued their Olympic adventure by dropping in on British Olympians at the athletes village.
Prince William, Kate, and Prince Harry cheer as Britain's equestrian eventing team arrives to collect their medals during the individual eventing jumping final at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Tuesday, July 31, 2012, at Greenwich Park in London. (AP Photo)
on the edge
Princesses Beatrice, left, and Eugenie can hardly take the tension as they watch the jumping phase of the eventing competition. In front of them, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and Princess Anne are considerably more composed. (AFP/GettyImages)
Following the equestrian competition, Kate, William and Harry stopped by the athletes village to greet some of Britain's Olympians. Here, the Duchess talks with cyclist Victoria Pendleton. (AFP/GettyImages)