As President of the British Olympic Association, the Princess Royal, who celebrated her 71st birthday on 15 August, was especially pleased to see Team GB winning gold in Tokyo in her two favourite sports: sailing and eventing.
Anne was the first member of the British royal family to take part in the games when she rode her mother’s horse, Goodwill, in the equestrian three-day event in Montreal in 1976. The Queen, Prince Philip and her siblings Charles, Andrew and Edward flew in to support her team, which came ninth. Unfortunately, Goodwill fell at a fence during the cross country and Anne was concussed, admitting later she couldn’t remember anything about completing the round.
In 1972, her future husband Mark Phillips won gold in Munich with the British equestrian team and 40 years later their daughter Zara won a team silver in the eventing at the London 2012 Olympics. After the fantastic display in the showjumping final in Japan, Team GB riders have – after 49 years – won gold again.
‘Although I am sad not to be there in person,’ the princess said to the teams beforehand, ‘I and the whole nation will be cheering for you and proudly supporting you from home.
‘I do remember from my own Olympic journey the anticipation and excitement of stepping on to the Olympic stage. But also, the single-minded focus on what you need to do.’
That single-minded focus is what the Duke of Cambridge has applied to his Earthshot award programme, which he has described as something ‘like a Nobel Peace Prize for the environment’. He was inspired by the late President John F. Kennedy’s ‘Moonshot’, to put a man on the moon within ten years when the odds were stacked heavily against it.
After learning about conservation issues in Namibia, Kenya and Tanzania, William came up with the idea in 2018 to offer financial incentives to workable ideas that would help save the planet within ten years. Two years later, his project was launched, with the first annual prizes due to be awarded later this year. The prince has written the introduction to the book Earthshot: How to Save Our Planet, which will be published around the same time as a five-part BBC One television series is screened this autumn.
It might appear that almost everyone in and around the royal family is penning a foreword or writing a book, including Sarah, Duchess of York, who has added her first romantic novel (in collaboration with Mills & Boon) to her stable of more than 70 books. She has given copious interviews to promote it but has cleverly evaded potentially difficult questions. Sarah, who still lives with her former husband at Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park, has maintained a good relationship with the Queen, who enjoys her company and admires her loyalty.
A competition run by the Victoria and Albert Museum in conjunction with Buckingham Palace to design a logo for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022 has been won by 19-year-old undergraduate Edward Roberts. His design, featuring the number 70 and using one continuous line to create St Edward’s Crown, will appear on everything to do with next year’s celebrations.