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InsightPrincess Anne and Family

A look at Britain’s royal Olympians

As the 2018 Winter Olympics get underway, Royal Central takes a look at Great Britain’s royal Olympians.

In 1971, Her Royal Highness the Princess Royal competed in multiple European three-day event championships where she won a gold medal, and in 1975, she won in both the individual and team disciplines where she took home silver.

Anne, the Princess Royal took part in the 1976 Summer Olympic Games in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, when she rode her mother, Her Majesty The Queen’s horse, Goodwill. However, she did not bring home a medal.

It was through their shared love of horses and mutual membership on the British equestrian team that Captain Mark Phillips met the Princess Royal at the 1972 Olympics in Munich.

Mark Phillips in 1980. Photo: Dutch National Archives, The Hague, Fotocollectie Algemeen Nederlands Persbureau (ANeFo), 1945-1989, Nummer toegang Bestanddeelnummer 931-1061 (CC BY-SA 3.0 nl)

Captain Mark Phillips, the Princess Royal’s first husband, took part in the Summer Olympics in Munich, West Germany where he won two gold medals. At the 1988 Seoul Olympics, while still married to Princess Anne, he won silver.

Just like her parents, Zara Tindall (née Phillips) is an accomplished equestrian and qualified for the 2004 Athens Olympic Games and the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, but an injury to her horse both times forced her to withdraw from the team. However, she did take part in the London 2012 Olympic Games where she won a silver medal in team eventing. A very proud Princess Anne had the honour of presenting her daughter with the silver medal. Zara attempted to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics in Brazil but was not selected after achieving the qualification mark at the Badminton Horse. She was not chosen on selection grounds.

By Jerry Pank (Flickr: Olympic Cross-country Greenwich 2012) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Zara has been participating in eventing at European and world championships since 2005. She was named BBC Sports Personality of the Year following her victory in the 2006 FEI World Equestrian Games.

The Princess Royal still participates in the Olympics but in a different capacity. She is currently the President of the British Olympic Association and has been a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) since 1988.

Princess Anne will be in attendance this year in South Korea. Her Royal Highness will arrive on 4 February and attend the IOC meetings. She will be present at the Opening Ceremony and attend through the 13th, as well.

The Winter Olympic Game run from 9 February through 25 February.