Royal Mothers, Daughters, and Granddaughters at the Olympics

An unusual historic moment occurred as the Queen opened the London 2012 Olympics, as she became the first reigning monarch to open a second Olympic competition in her lifetime. In 1976 Elizabeth II, who is also the Queen of Canada, opened the Olympics at Montreal.

The Queen opens the 1976 Olympics at Montreal
The Queen opens the London 2012 Olympics

The Queen’s ties with the Olympics have always been a family affair, since both her daughter and granddaughter have competed in both the Olympic competitions which she opened. In 1976, Montreal saw the Queen’s daughter, Princess Anne, ride for the GB equestrian team. Princess Anne rode Goodwill, a horse belonging to the Queen (one of whose main hobbies is the breeding and training of racehorses).

Princess Anne competing in the 1976 Olympics with Goodwill.

In 2012, the Queen opened the Olympics again at London. This time, however, it was not her daughter Princess Anne competing, but her daughter’s daughter, Zara Phillips.

Zara Phillips and High Kingdom win silver at the London 2012 Olympics

After three days of competing, Zara Phillips and the rest of the equestrian team had worked their way to a silver Olympic medal. The medals for the three-day eventing competition were presented by none other than Princess Anne, the Queen’s daughter and Zara’s mother. This was a particularly poignant event, since Princess Anne did not successfully secure an Olympic medal for herself when she competed in 1976, but she did get the honour of bestowing one on her daughter instead.

Princess Anne awards silver medal to Zara Phillips


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