The Olympics are just two week away so today’s as good a day as any to chat about the Spanish Royals at the Olympics. The Spanish Royals like to sail and they are mighty good at it. Here we go…
Queen Sofia of Spain
Princess Sofia of Greece and Denmark, now Queen Sofia of Spain, represented Greece in the 1960 Olympics in Rome. She was on the sailing team. Sadly, I haven’t been able to unearth a photograph of that event, so you’ll just have to take my word for it! She married Infante Juan Carlos of Spain just two years later in 1962.
Prince Constantine of Greece and Denmark
Before we chat about Juan Carlos’ Olympic experience, Princess Sofia’s brother Constantine also competed in the 1960 Games and won a gold medal in sailing (dragon class, to be precise). Constantine went on to become the sixth and last King of Greece. He succeeded the throne in 1964 at the age of 23, and as you know the Greek Royal Family was abolished in 1973. Here is some footage of the 1960 Olympics and the dashing prince sailing away in his white and blue uniform:
As you may recall from our previous post, this was the same Olympic Games that Princess Grace’s brother Kell participated in. Kell won bronze in rowing.
King Juan Carlos of Spain
Back when he was the heir apparent, Juan Carlos participated in the 1972 Munich Summer Olympics. He competed in the Mixed Three Person Keel Boat and his team placed 15th.
He still loves the sport of sailing. Here he is with fellow former Olympian Prince Albert at Monaco’s Yacht show in 2011:
The King and Queen’s son Prince Felipe followed their footsteps and is also a former Olympian. In 1992, he was part of the sailing team at the Barcelona Games. How appropriate! Like Zara Philips who will compete on home soil at the upcoming games, Felipe also got to compete on home turf.
The prince was also given the honour of being the flag bearer for the Spanish team at the Opening Ceremony.
Here is some video footage of the Opening Ceremony. Prince Felipe and the Spanish team are at 4:08 and they cut to the King and Queen clapping away. We also see a clip of Infanta Elena. I love how they announce all the countries in multiple languages and in such a celebratory manner… “Espana!“…”Spain!“…
Felipe’s sister Infanta Cristina shares her family’s love of sailing. She represented Spain on the sailing team at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul. Like her brother, she was the flag bearer during the Opening Ceremony.
Just like Prince Frederik of Denmark and the King of Sweden, Cristina met her husband Inaki Urdangarin y Liebaert at the Olympics. The two met at the Atlanta 1996 summer Olympics where he was a member of the Spanish handball team. He won bronze at both the 1996 Atlanta Games and the 2000 Sydney Games.
Princess Crstina and Inaki were married in 1997. He now holds the title Duke of Palma de Mallorca.
Unfortunately, the Duke has been alledgeldy involved in a money laundering scandal, and is consequently not participating in Royal events for the time being. Since this blog is supposed to be fun and frivolous, we’ll leave it at that for now.
This photograph is of Infanta Cristina and her husband, who was competing in the Games:
It seems that the Spanish royals skip out on the Winter Olympics, but they certainly showed up in full force for the last summer Olympics, held in Beijing.
Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia attended a reception for the Spanish team.
They also cheered on the team at various events:
Queen Sofia and Infanta Elena were at the games as well:
Love this photograph of Felipe sharing a joke with his uncle King Constantine of Greece. That’s Queen Anne-Marie of Greece on the right:
Spain is hoping to recreate the magic of the 1992 Barcelona games with the 2020 Olympic Games, which they are proposing be held in Madrid. The other two cities in the running are Tokyo and Istanbul. The winning city will be announced in September 2013.