Olympics 2012: The Games Enjoy Royal Approval
LONDON – While star power may not be glowing as brightly as many hoped during the Olympic Games so far, the sporting contests certainly have the Royal seal of approval, notably from Prince William, Catherine Middleton and Prince Harry.
As Olympic ambassadors, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Harry have been a constant presence at the Games and indeed watched on as Team Great Britain rowed its way to the country's first gold medal.
In an interview with the BBC, the Princes talked to the host broadcaster about the buzz and the amazing support from the stands from the Brit fans.
"The support of the British public is something else," Harry said, describing the buzz as "astonishing."
And the duo answered the question on everyone's lips about their thoughts on their grandmother, the Queen, and her role in Danny Boyle's opening ceremony.
The reigning Monarch appeared in a short film with James Bond actor Daniel Craig that saw her traveling to the stadium in a helicopter with him as her escort before parachuting into the East End venue.
The duo said they had been "kept in the dark" about the Queen's role in the opening ceremony.
"Both of us were slightly surprised with our grandmother's secret hobby of parachuting," said Harry.
William added: "We were kept completely in the dark about it. Harry got a sniff of a rumor on the night and the rumor mill was going into overdrive, but in fact she did such a good performance that she's been asked to star in the next Bond film. I'm thrilled for her."
They both also talked of the British military's work during the Games to help security and ensure the venues operate safely and securely.
Said William, a Royal Air Force search and rescue helicopter pilot: "Of course, it would be unfair of me not to mention the military. I think they've been fantastic and everywhere we've gone they've looked extremely smart and like they've enjoyed themselves."
But the support and the work of the cast of thousands of volunteers also drew praise from the Royal Olympic fans.
William said: "It's been fantastic to see the volunteers going around with a smile on their face, greeting people and doing such a good job.
Harry told BBC presenter Sue Barker: "The support from the British public is something else. We've had the chance to be at quite a few of the events, and just to feel the buzz of the British public getting behind the teams is astonishing."
And the highlight so far? Keeping it in the family.
The brothers said they were "very proud" of their cousin Zara Phillips' silver medal in the equestrian events.
Harry said she had been working "so hard" to get to where she had got to, adding: "We as cousins are very, very proud, it now explains why we never get to see her because she is always riding."
William said his cousin's win had been the most emotional but he also praised "unsung stars" who have had their "massive moment," such as Etienne Stott and Tim Baillie, who took gold in the canoe slalom on Thursday.
"That was absolutely fantastic, we were glued to the television... watching that. The noise was incredible, seeing them jump into the water and swim around with the team I think was such a release for them."
William also described the atmosphere inside the velodrome when Sir Chris Hoy pedaled his way to a fourth gold medal as "electric."
The brothers joked about Harry's "race" with Usain Bolt, the Jamaican sprinting superstar who made his London 2012 Olympics debut Saturday morning in the first heat of the blue riband athletics' 100 meters race.
Royal eyes will be on the track and field over the course of the next few days as the Olympics enters its second week.