London 2012 Olympics: Britain’s Royals delivering squeal of approval
The Royal Family was back out in force again yesterday supporting Britain’s Olympic champions.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge performed a perfectly choreographed Mexican wave at Court One of Wimbledon as a good luck gesture for Andy Murray, who clearly appreciated it as he defeated his Spanish opponent with ease and secured a slot in the semi-finals.
As is often the case in marriage, it was the wife who led the way with Prince William at first sitting while the former Kate Middleton leapt to her feet with her husband, in dark sunglasses, joining in for the next round.
Meanwhile, Prince Harry was finally evicted from his permanent position as Royal Ambassador to the sandy court of beach volleyball and despatched to instead canoodle with the Canadians with a visit to Canada House on Trafalgar Square where he shook hands and admired the silver medal of rower Malcolm Howard, before settling down to watch the Canadians win a silver medal in rowing.
Intent on proving his new dedication to the Olympic spirit, as opposed to the consumable kind, when asked by Michael Tayler, the slalom kayaker, for the best place to party in London, the prince replied: “I don’t go out anymore. I’m too old, I’m too old.”
Among the other high-profile spectators was president Vladimir Putin, who celebrated Russia’s gold medal in judo by leaping to his feet and down onto the canvas at the ExCel Centre, leaving Prime Minister David Cameron his host, trailing behind.
As a black belt himself in the art of tripping up and over-throwing opponents, sporting and political, Mr Putin was anxious to share his delight with fellow countryman Tagir Khaibulaev after his victory over a Mongolian opponent.
The Royals have been out in force throughout the Games so far, from the Queen’s star role in the opening ceremony, to the equestrian ring where Zara Phillips won silver.
Sports analysts said royal involvement helped strengthen the bond with the common man, and this would be aided in London by princes William, Harry, and Kate dressing down and sitting with the crowds.
Prince Philip was at the boxing arena yesterday enjoying the action, waving to spectators.
“There is a long tradition in history, dating back to the Roman Empire, of the royal elite being on show at sporting events and participating with everyone else,” said Martin Polley, an Olympic historian and sport lecturer at Southampton University.
“Sport is a great leveller and we are most certainly seeing this at London. It does the royals no end of good.”
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Tuesday 18 June 2013
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