Royals Who Have Special Connections to the Olympics (Including Gold Medal Wins!)
KING CARL GUSTAF & QUEEN SILVIA MET AT THE OLYMPICS
Silvia, who grew up in Germany (and Brazil), first met Carl Gustaf, then the Crown Prince of Sweden, at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich. Carl Gustaf was there to represent the Swedish delegation while his wife-to-be, then known as Silvia Sommerlath, was working as a host and interpreter for a few very important guests — including Carl Gustaf. He later said that he asked her to have dinner the day they met, and that the couple "just clicked." Four years after their initial meeting at the Olympics, they became engaged in March 1976. Since their wedding, they've attended many Olympics.
AS DID CROWN PRINCE FREDERIK & CROWN PRINCESS MARY
Silvia and Carl Gustaf aren't the only royal couple with an Olympic beginning to their love story. At the 2000 Summer Games in Sydney, Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark met Mary Donaldson at a bar called the Slip Inn. She was then working in advertising, and had no idea that the man she was talking to at the bar was in fact the heir to the Danish throne. Someone came up to her later that evening and said, "Do you know who these people are?" Their romance continued from there and they eventually wed in 2004. They've stayed true to the roots of their relationship, attending every Olympic Games since 2004. Frederik was even inducted into the International Olympic Committee in 2009. This year, Frederik made an early departure from the PyeongChang Games to be at his father, Prince Henrik's bedside during the final days before his death.
PRINCE WILLIAM & KATE MIDDLETON GAVE US THEIR CUTEST PDA AT THE OLYMPICS
Unlike Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, William and Kate aren't known for their public displays of affection. So when they had a very affectionate moment at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, it was almost as celebratory an occasion as a gold medal win. At the end of a cycling race, in which Team Great Britain was victorious, William wrapped Kate up in a hug in excitement. And the internet proceeded to tweet with glee about the photos.
PRINCESS ANNE IS AN OLYMPIAN
For Princess Anne, the Olympics are very much a family passion. An accomplished equestrian and member of the British eventing team, she became the first-ever member of the British royal family to compete in the Olympics in 1976, at the Montreal Games. She rode one of the Queen's horses, named Goodwill, during the competition.
AND ZARA TINDALL IS AN OLYMPIC MEDALIST
Anne passed on her love of horses to her daughter, Zara. She competed in individual and team eventing in the late aughts and early 2010's, winning an individual gold medal at the 2006 World Championships and a silver medal at the 2012 Olympics on her horse High Kingdom. In a sweet moment, her mom, Princess Anne, presented her with her silver medal in 2012.
AND HER DAD, MARK PHILLIPS, WON GOLD
It's no wonder Zara went onto such successes on horseback: Her dad is an equestrian, too. Anne's ex-husband, Captain Mark Phillips, has two Olympic medals, a gold and a silver, both won in the team three-day event competition. The first was in 1972 in Munich and the second in 1988 in Seoul.
PRINCESS CHARLENE COMPETED AT THE OLYMPICS
Before she was a Princess, Charlene, the wife of Prince Albert of Monaco, was an Olympic swimmer from her home country of South Africa. She competed in the 2000 Sydney Olympics in the 4x100 meter medley relay, coming in fifth place. That's not her only Olympic connection: At the 2006 Olympics in Turin, Italy, she and Albert made their debut as a couple. The pair married five years later in 2011.
PRINCESS CRISTINA OF SPAIN IS AN OLYMPIAN SAILOR
The sister of King Felipe of Spain, Cristina competed in the Seoul Olympics in 1988 as a member of Spain's sailing team. In later years, she's become better known for her involvement in a corruption trial, which saw her and her husband investigated for fraud and tax evasion. She was acquitted of all charges in February 2017.
KING HARALD IS AN OLYMPIAN AND OPENED THE LILLEHAMMER GAMES
Another royal Olympic sailor is King Harald of Norway, who competed in three different Olympic Games — 1964 in Tokyo, 1968 in, Mexico City and 1972 in Munich — before he inherited the throne. In 1964, he was given the honor of being Norway's flag bearer during the opening ceremonies. The Olympic spirit seems to run in his family: Harald's father, King Olav, won a gold medal in sailing at the 1928 Olympics. When the Olympics came to Norway in 1994, in Lillehammer, Harald opened the Games during the opening ceremony.
QUEEN ELIZABETH MADE A MEMORABLE APPEARANCE AT THE LONDON GAMES
When London hosted the Olympics in 2012, an appearance from Queen Elizabeth seemed inevitable — but no one imagined that it would have been quite as epic as it turned out to be. In a video broadcast during the opening ceremonies, the Queen is escorted by none other than James Bond — fittingly played by Daniel Craig — and a couple of corgis through Buckingham Palace and then by helicopter to the Olympic Stadium. She then arrived at the ceremony (though not actually by jumping out of a helicopter as the video depicted) and officially opened the Games.