Blood Royals of Europe Who Competed in the World Olympics

Games at the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics in Japan will be wrapped up this Sunday, August 8, 2021. This year's Olympics has been a unique one due to the government restrictions to curtail the pandemic. 

No spectators are allowed in all Olympic venues and athletes competed without the cheers of the enthusiastic crowd.

Here, let's take a trip down-memory-lane and discover the royal Olympians. Members of the European royalty who competed in the past World Olympics.

Anne, the Princess Royal - The only daughter and second child of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Princess Anne is an accomplished horse rider. 

HRH The Princess Royal

The first member of the British royal family to compete in the Olympics, she represented Great Britain in the 1976 Montreal Olympics in Canada in the Equestrian event, riding the Queen's horse, Goodwill, in the eventing category.

She won Gold during the European Championships in 1971 in the individual eventing. She was voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 1971.

Princess Anne in the Olympics

Princess Anne married Captain Mark Phillips in 1973. He was also an Olympian, competing in the Equestrian eventing during the 1972 Munich Olympics where his team won gold and in the 1988 Seoul Olympics where Team Great Britain won silver.

Zara Phillips and his Olympian father, Mark Phillips

Princess Anne and Mark Phillips got divorce in 1992. Their only daughter, Zara, followed in their footsteps and represented Britain in the 2012 London Olympics in the Equestrian event. Zara won silver with her team in the eventing category.

King Juan Carlos of Spain - As Prince Juan of Spain, the future Spanish king competed in the 1972 Munich Olympics in the Sailing event where the Spanish team finished 15th in the dragon class event.

King Juan Carlos of Spain

He ascended the Spanish throne in 1975 following the death of the Spanish dictator, Francisco Franco. He officially opened the Barcelona Summer Olympics in 1992 and the only Olympian to officially open a Summer Olympiad.

The Olympian blood continues to run in his family. Two of his three children became Olympians, in addition to his wife, Queen Sofia, who was a reserve in the Greek sailing team during the 1960 Rome Olympics. The Greek team, led by Sophia's younger brother, Prince Constantine, won gold during that event.

King Juan Carlos was part of the Madrid delegation that traveled to Copenhagen in 2009 for Spain's bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympics, Spain placed second to the eventual bid winner, Brazil.

The king abdicated in 2014 in favor of his only son. Felipe.

King Felipe VI of Spain - Felipe, who was still Prince of Asturias back then, competed in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, he finished sixth with his team. He was also the Spanish flag bearer during the parade of nations.

The then Prince of Asturias, competing in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics

Constantine II, ex-King of Greece - Constantine II is the only son of King Paul of Greece and Princess Frederica of Hanover, and the only brother of Queen Sofia of Spain. He reigned in Greece from 1964 until the abolition of the Greek monarchy in 1973.

Constantine II of Greece and his wife, Queen Anne-Marie

While still a Crown Prince, at the age of 20, he competed in the Sailing event (dragon class) representing Greece in the 1960 Rome Olympics where his team won Gold. It was the first gold medal in the sailing event of Greece since the 1912 Stockholm Olympics.

An avid sportsman, King Constantine II is also a swimmer, a black belter in karate and has a special interest in squash and track and field. 

In 1963, he became a member of the International Olympic Committee, in 1974 he resigned in the committee because he was no longer a Greek resident. 

However, he continues to become an honorary member of the International Olympic Committee and the IOC continues to address him as His Majesty, King Constantine.

He is a co-president of honor, together with King Harald V of Norway, of the International Sailing Federation. In 2013, he and his wife, Queen Anne-Marie, went back to live in Greece and now settled in the beautiful summer resort town of Porto Cheli, Peloponnese. 

Infanta Cristina of Spain (born: June 13, 1965) - It looks like competing in the Sailing event, runs in the royal family. Like her father, younger brother and maternal uncle, King Constantine II of Greece, Infanta Cristina also completed in the Sailing event representing Spain in the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

The infanta is the youngest daughter of King Juan Carlos of Spain and Queen Sofia (former Princess Sophia of Greece and Denmark). She participated in the Tornado with the Spanish team, a sailing event in the 1988 Seoul Olympics scheduled in seven races where 23 nations competed.

Infanta Cristina and her husband, Inaki Urdangarin

She married an Olympian, Inaki Urdangarin, a professional handball player and part of the Spanish handball team that represented Spain in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, 1996 Atlanta Olympics and 2000 Sydney Olympics where he was the team captain. His team won the Bronze in 1996 and 2000 Olympics.

Prince Albert, the Sovereign Prince of Monaco - The sporty ruler of Monaco previously competed in the five straight Winter Olympics from 1988 to 2002 in the bobsled event. He was also the instrument of forming a bobsled team of Monaco in 1986. 

Prince Albert of Monaco

Prince Albert also married an Olympian, the former Charlene Wittstock who represented South Africa in the swimming event in the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

King Olav V of Norway - He was born in 1903 as Prince Alexander of Denmark in Appleton House, Sandringham, Norfolk, the only child of Prince Carl of Denmark, who would become King Haakon VII of Norway in 1905, and Princess Maud of Wales, youngest daughter of King Edward VII of Britain and Queen Alexandra.

King Olav V of Norway

Prince Alexander represented Norway in the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics in the Sailing event, where he won Gold medal. A year following his successful stint in the Olympics, he married his second cousin, Princess Martha of Sweden, sister of Queen Astrid of Belgium.

Prince Alexander inherited the Norwegian throne on the death of his father in 1957. He remained an active sailor for the remainder of his life.

King Harald V of Norway - Like his father, the reigning Norwegian king also competed in the Summer Olympics before he inherited the throne in 1991.

While still a Crown Prince sitting comfortably in his sailing boat

Harald competed in the three Summer Olympics representing Norway in the Sailing event: 1964 Tokyo Olympics, 1968 Mexico Olympics and 1972 Munich Olympics. 

Apart from the Olympics, King Harald V, together with his sailing crew, represented Norway in the World Championships in 1982, 1987 and 1988 winning silver, gold and bronze respectively. 

King Harald V of Norway in 2007 

His sailing team also won the European championships in Sweden in 2005.

Princess Nathalie of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg - She is the youngest daughter of Princess Benedikte (sister of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and Queen Anne-Marie of Greece) and Prince Richard of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg.

Princess Nathalie and her horse, Digby

She has been a member of the Danish dressage team since the late 1990s. Her team won the bronze medal during the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics. 

The Danish team finished fourth in the 2012 London Summer Olympics. Princess Nathalie, riding her horse Digby, also finished 12th in the individual dressage event.

In January 2017, Princess Nathalie was named head coach of the Danish national dressage team.

Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich of Russia - He was the second child and only son of Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovich of Russia and Princess Alexandra of Greece and Denmark (daughter of King George I of Greece and Queen Olga). 

Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich of Russia

His father was one of the Russian grand dukes who was murdered in the St. Petersburg wall in January 1919. His mother died following his birth in 1891. Through his mother he was the first cousin of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

Grand Duke Dimitri, who developed a passion in horse riding, represented Russia in the 1912 Stockholm Summer Olympics, competing in the Equestrian team and individual jumping events. He finished 9th in the individual jumping and 5th in the team jumping.

Grand Duke Paul was the last Russian imperial grand duke who was born before the fall of the Russian monarchy in 1917. He escaped Russia during the revolution and settled abroad. He died in Davos, Switzerland in 1942. 

His nephew, Prince Lennart Bernadotte transferred his remains to Minau island in 1958 and buried beside his older sister (and Lennart's mother) Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna. 

Prince Friedrich Karl of Prussia - Grand Duke Dimitri Pavlovich of Russia was not the only European royal who competed in the 1912 Stockholm Olympics in the Equestrian event. 

He was a great grandson of Princess Feodora of Leiningen, the half-sister of Queen Victoria of Britain. His maternal aunt, Princess Augusta Viktoria, married Queen Victoria's grandson, Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany.

Prince Friedrich Karl of Prussia

Prince Friedrich Karl was a German prince from the house of Hohenzollern. He was a member of the German Equestrian team in the 1912 Stockholm Summer Olympics, riding his horse, Gibson Boy. 

His team won Bronze in the team jumping event and Prince Friedrich became the first European royal to stand in the Olympic podium.

Two years later, in 1914, World War I began. Prince Friedrich served the German troops in the front line as an aviator. In March 1917, he was shot at the back by the Allied soldiers and severely wounded. He was captured and died in captivity in April 1917.

Post a Comment