Princess Anne sends message to Team GB ahead of Olympics
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Princess Anne has wished Team GB the best of luck before they compete in the postponed 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, which starts in just three days’ time. But when just 45 years old, Princess Royal set her own record as the first member of the British royal family to compete at the Olympics when she participated in the three-day equestrian event at the 1976 Montreal Games.
Her appearance was so spectacular that the Queen, Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Charles, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward were flown out to Canada to offer Anne their support.
Princess Anne finished in sixth place after suffering a concussion when she fell off the Queen’s horse. After remounting Goodwill, Anne finished the course and has later said she could not remember the remaining jumps.
And it seems that horse riding is an area that royals have thrived in.
Princess Royal’s first husband, Captain Mark Phillips, competed with Team GB’s three-day event team in 1972, where he picked up a gold medal. In 1988 he also picked up a silver medal.
Unsurprisingly, Princess Anne and Phillip’s daughter, Zara Tindall, followed in her parents’ footsteps to win a silver medal at the menage in the 2012 London Olympics. The wife of the ex-England rugby player, Mike Tindall, was even presented with her medal by her mother. Similarly to Anne, Zara had many family members, including Prince William and Kate Middleton, cheering her on from the sidelines.
But it is not just members of the British Royal Family who have competed at the Olympics.
Those with blue blood from Monaco, Spain, Jordan, Norway and Thailand contested events at the summer Olympics.
In 2000, three members of other royal families appeared in the swimming pools, menages and handball stadiums at the Sydney games.
Inaki Urdangarin was the only one to pick up a medal. He picked up a bronze medal in 2000, as he did in 1996, with the Spanish handball side. Urdangarin had married into Spanish royalty just one year after his first Olympic success when he wedded Infanta Cristina.
Cristina was also an Olympian. In 1988 at the Seoul Games, she competed with the Spanish sailing team. Unlike her partner, she was unable to pick up any medals. Just four years later, on home waters off the coast of Barcelona, her brother, later Felipe VI of Spain, participated again as a member of the sailing team.
Princess Haya bint Hussein, the daughter of King Hussein of Jordan, represented the Middle Eastern nation at show jumping.
The future Princess Charlene of Monaco, Charlene Wittstock, was competing for South Africa as one of the 4×100 medley team members. South Africa finished fifth. That year Wittstock also met her future husband Prince Albert – himself a winter Olympian.
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The Old Etonian Prince Bira of Siam also competed as a sailor. He failed to receive a medal but did participate in the Melbourne, Rome, Tokyo and Munich Olympics.
Prince Bira even competed against King Harald from Norway. Before succeeding to the Norwegian throne, Harald represented the Scandinavian nation at sailing in 1964, 1968 and finally in 1972.
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