And the Olympic (royal) gold medal goes to ...
The Olympic Games are wrapping up, a time to reflect on what was, what might have been and, of course, whether the young royals screwed up.
On that score, in their role as Olympic ambassadors, they have done extremely well. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge -- Will and Kate -- along with Prince Harry, dove right into their roles and avoided royal protocol as much a possible. Good move.
Now, as the Olympic flame slowly dims, it seems only fair to hand out some symbolic gold-silver-bronze for some of the images of royals over the last two weeks. There's no definitive criteria for winning, but each shares the common trait -- none of this royal behaviour is likely to be repeated for a very long time. And since we were generous, we've made room for more silver and bronze medallists than the IOC would like.
So, lets roll out that podium.....
It was no contest for the top of the podium. Few images caught the royals better in an unguarded, spontaneous moment of happiness. The occasion was the British men's sprint cycling team winnning gold at the velodrome on Aug. 2. In world record time, too. Will and Kate seemed to enjoy it. (Getty Images)
1. Prince Harry gives a Tiger-like fist pump as he and his cousin Peter Phillips join in the celebration as Britain's Chris Hoy wins the gold medal for the men's keirin at the velodrome on Aug. 7. (Getty Images)
2. Who knows what Kate was hearing or thinking during this obviously alarming exchange with Team GB ambassador Robin Cousins on Aug. 9. The event was women's team synchronized swimming, so it's quite possible she was also preparing to attempt to hold her breath. (Getty Images)
3. This is what the agony of defeat feels like. It's Kate and William at the swimming on Aug. 3, at a moment when British fortunes were dashed. It happened often in the pool, where the Brits scored just three medals, compared to six at the Beijing Olympics. (Getty Images)
4. It couldn't have gotten much better than this for Princess Anne or her daughter Zara. The Queen's granddaughter brought the family some Olympic glory with a silver in the team eventing of the equestrian competition. Former Olympian Anne was given the honour of presenting the medals (AFP/GettyImages)
1/2. Here's a few glimpses of Prince Harry at his most princely and playful at the Games. Above, he takes a moment to make a young girl's day by posing with her at the velodrome. His cousin Peter and London Games chair Sebastian Coe look on. Right, Harry finds the shoulder of British rower Constantine Louloudis a good place to rest during the beach volleyball competition at House Guards Parade. (Getty Images)
3. These field hockey women will have this image in their scrapbooks for a very long time. After winning the bronze medal game against New Zealand on Friday, they posed with Kate, herself a former star player in her younger years. (Getty Images)
4. After starring as a Bond girl in the opening ceremony, Queen Elizabeth was her usual self, working the line of Great Britain athletes on Day 1 of the Games. Still, even that provided for the unusual -- like having to stretch the royal neck muscles to see eye to eye with basketball players. (Getty Images)