Olympics draw royal families from near and far

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Saudi Arabia's Prince  Abdullah al-Saud, riding Davos, performs during the equestrian individual jumping final at the London Games in Greenwich Park on Wednesday. He won a bronze in the team competition last week but was knocked out of the running in the individual jumping. (Reuters)

Royals monacoIf the crowned heads of the Europe and beyond wanted to hold a convention, these Olympic Games might have been their best chance.

The British Royal Family -- or more specfically, William and Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge -- has naturally attracted plenty of attention in these Games, it being their home and all, but there's a bevy of bluebloods from abroad who have joined in the London party.

The Games, in fact, have had a regular royal rotation as the princes and princesses from afar have dropped in to spur on their country's athletes. Some have even competed, either now or in the past. Like Monaco's Prince Albert and his wife Charlene Woodstock (right), who met at the 2000 Sydney Games while she was competing in swimming for South Africa. He's a former bobsledder and current IOC member.

While Zara Phillips, Queen Elizabeth's granddaughter, helped Britain to a silver medal in the team eventing last week, another royal equestrian was making news in Saudi Arabia. Prince Abdullah al-Saud was part of the bronze-medal winning show jumping team.

But most of the royal families in London are content to be spectators, albeit of the 'honoured guest' variety so they can bypass the lineups. Spain, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and the Netherlands have all brought some royal troops to the Games.

Look hard enough and you'll even find some of the Brit royals who aren't named Kate or William or Harry. On Tuesday, the Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, was seen at the velodrome in the company of her daughters Beatrice and Eugenie. And nearby was Prince Harry was exercising his vocal chords in the company of cousin Peter Phillips, Princess Anne's son.

So, in honour of all these, lets call this our anti-Kate gallery:

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 Prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, his wife Princess Maxima and his family, all dressed in their familiar orange, cheer on the Dutch team after it beat India in field hockey. (Reuters)

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Danish Princess Benedikte, left, Queen Margrethe, and Crown Prince Frederik   watch the swimming events at the Olympic Park on August 3, 2012 in London. (AFP/GettyImages)

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King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden and Queen  Silvia watch the Individual Jumping Equestrian on Day 12 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Greenwich Park on Wednesday. (Getty Images)

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Royals greeceAbove, Norway's Crown Prince Haakon walks outside the Royal Artillery Barracks during the Olympic shooting competition. He and Crown Princess Mette-Marit were on hand to cheer a 64-athlete strong team from Norway. Right, the King Contantine of Greece and his wife Queen Anne Marie stroll through the athletes village. They have been a regular sight at the Games, expecially since they live in London and Constantine is an honourary member of the International Olympic Committee. OC.. Greece abolished the monarchy in 1973. (Reuters)

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Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York is flanked by her daughters Princess Eugenie, left, and Princess Beatrice at they watch Britain's Laura Trott win gold in the women's track cycling omnium at the velodrome on Tuesday. (Reuters)

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Prince Harry and his cousin Peter Phillips lead the cheers behind former British Prime Minister John Major  as they watch Sir Chris Hoy win gold in the track cycling keirin at the velodrome on Tuesday. (Reuters) 


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The Duchess of Cambridge is seen with British gymnasts Rebecca Tunney, centre, and Kristian Thomas, left, at the gymnastics finals in the North Greenwich Arena on Sunday. (Reuters)

It was all an innocent mistake, but the ever-perfect image of the Duchess of Cambridge was had an uh-oh moment on the weekend.

The scene was the gymnatics finals, where she sat with some British gymnasts in the front row of balcony seats with a couple of Union Jacks draped over the railing in front of them. Look close enough, though, and it's clear the flags look different. On the left, the flag is predominantly white below the diagonal red stripes, opposite to the flag beside it.

Kate, it turns out, was sitting behind an upside down flag, which, according protocol is either an insult or a sign of distress.

As neither seemed to be case here, we'll chalk it up to an inattentive patriot.









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Monarchies are a waste of money..

The flag is not upside down but reversed.Note the white border is on the left on one and on the right on the other.

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