Zara's Royal fan club: Duchess Kate, William, Harry, Camilla, Bea and Eugenie cheer on Team GB's equestrian hope Zara Phillips
17:46 GMT, 30 July 2012
The Royals were out in force to support the Queen's granddaughter Zara Phillips as she rode for victory at the cross-country phase of the equestrian eventing this afternoon.
The keen horseman made her Olympic debut under the watchful gaze of her mother Princess Anne and grandfather the Duke of Edinburgh yesterday.
And today the 31-year-old's Royal fan base was growing as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie all arrived at the Greenwich venue to support their cousin in the event.
Dressed down in a simple navy blazer and chinos and white shirt complemented with Givenchy sunglasses, Kate made sure all eyes were on the event and not her wardrobe as she took her seat.
Family support: The Duchess of Cornwall, Duchess of Cambridge, Duke of Cambridge, LOCOG Chairman Lord Sebastian Coe, Prince Harry, Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice watch the Cross Country Phase of The Eventing
Going for gold: Great Britain's Zara Phillips riding High Kingdom competes in the cross country phase of the eventing competition
Spectacular: The equestrian cross country event in Greenwich Park took place against the stunning backdrop of the city of London skyline
Zara and High Kingdom jump for glory
Zara looks confident as she rides High Kingdom
The 31-year-old, who made a solid
Olympic debut in the dressage yesterday, managed to complete the cross
country run in nine minutes and 55 seconds, comfortably within the
Riders had to finish the course in under 10 minutes and three seconds.
Before her run, several riders had fallen and horses slipped as they tackled a tricky course in historic Greenwich Park.
But Phillips managed a clean and fast run, pumping her fist in the air in triumph as she finished.
Massive crowds cheered energetically as she competed, growing particularly loud as she entered the main arena, where the royals sat.
But while thousands of spectators, who had packed a hillside in one of the free viewing areas around the park, struggled to find any available ground for a view of the event, countless rows of seats in the ticketed area were again left empty.
But that did not put off Phillips, who paid tribute to the support she received.
A sea of spectators gathers on the hillside of the event
Deserted: Countless rows of seats were left empty at the cross country competition in Greenwich Park today – provoking yet more outrage from fans unable to get a ticket for the event
Scandal: The Olympic organisers are likely to be embarrassed after yet another event, the equestrian cross country, took place in front of swathes of empty seats
after competing, she said: 'I'm so happy, he's such a dude and he's
lost shoes, trying to keep him standing on the corners, I hope he's
going to be OK.'
She said the crowds were 'amazing all the way along'.
Fans shouted Phillips's name as she gave interviews to journalists from around the world.
William gave her an enthusiastic cheer as she passed through the main
arena where the royals were sitting, he and Harry were sitting either
side of Lord Coe, both wearing dark glasses while Kate clapped heartily
as Phillips came in and gave a big smile as she rode out.
group were all glued to the big screen for the rest of her round, and
there were smiles all round and they all clapped as she cleared the
Husband William and his brother Prince
Harry sported casual Team GB polo shirts as they chatted to Lord
Sebastian Coe while they waited for Zara and her horse High Kingdom to
Yesterday Zara achieved a 'respectable' 46.1 in the dressage event, her
first as part of Team GB, and talking about her mount and today's
cross-country event Zara said: 'He's bored with dressage now and wants to get out there.'
Zara Philips competing in the Olympic Cross Country this afternoon
Zara looked slightly unsteady and nervous and she rode High Kingdom
Britain's Zara Phillips riding High Kingdom
Zara and her horse make a splash today
Yesterday, Phillips' grandfather, the Duke of
Edinburgh, as well as her mother, Princess Anne, were in the VIP seats
at Greenwich Park as Phillips competed in the eventing dressage
She scored a solid 48.10 penalty points, despite a mistake toward the beginning of her canter in the first 'flying change.'
In the stride, the horse is supposed to
change the sequence of his steps from side to side, but High Kingdom
didn't respond immediately to Phillips' cues.
Cheers and applause broke out as she rode into the stadium and erupted anew when she finished.
Phillips said it was an 'amazing feeling' to take part in the Olympics.
Crowds at the equestrian arena in
Greenwich, south east London, cheered and waved union flags as the Royal
put in a strong performance.
She said: 'It was incredible, an
amazing feeling to be part of the Olympics and to ride for your country
and to just be here. The crowd are amazing.
'It was incredible to be selected,
and to be at here at home for the Olympics is an amazing feeling. You
try to do your best for the team.'
Anne, wearing a bright red canvas hat to protect against the strong sun, applauded politely at the end.
Tender: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge share a joke whilst at the cross country
Sharing a joke: LOCOG Chairman Lord Sebastian Coe makes the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge laugh
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, watch the equestrian eventing
The Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William read a programme as they watch the equestrian eventing
Radiant: Kate looked happy and glowing as she and William enjoyed their day out in the sun
Tender: Kate and Camilla show how close they have become
Cousins: Harry and Eugenie appeared to be enjoying their day
Full support: Olympic fans arrive at the Royal Naval College to show their support
Team GB: Olympic fans arrive at Blackheath train station to make their way to the Greenwich Park Equestrian venue
Team Zara: The Duchess of Cornwall and Lord Seb Coe arrived at Greenwich Park ahead of the event
Despite a small hiccup, Phillips said she was pleased with the performance.
DRESSAGE: THE INS AND OUTS OF A VERY ROYAL SPORT
The word 'dressage' is a French term meaning training.
Horse and rider are expected to perform from memory a series of choreographed movements.
It takes years of dedication and training to reach the Grand Prix level which is seen at the Olympics.
The close relationship between horse and rider takes months, if not years, to form.
and rider are given a mark out of ten for each movement they perform
plus additional marks for the horse's pace, impulsion, submission and
the rider's position.
'It was disappointing about his first
change, but his other ones were really good,' she said afterward. 'But
he coped with all the crowd and is only getting better.'
Phillips, a former world and European
eventing champion, said the mistake had nothing to do with the
enthusiasm from the stands – a rousing welcome that prompted the
announcer to remind the audience to keep applause to a minimum until the
test was finished.
The 13th in line to the throne has
never competed in an Olympics because of injuries to her former horse
Toytown in 2004 and 2008.
But she is now one of the favourites
for a medal as she tries to emulate her father Captain Mark Phillips,
who won Olympic gold in 1972 and silver in 1988.
There were a number of empty seats in
the arena today as Zara competed, but speaking yesterday, equestrian
sport manager Tim Hadaway said crowds at the event move throughout the
venue during the day, meaning some seats may be left empty at times.
said: 'A lot of people are out and around the arena, sitting on the
grass looking at the big screens. There is an opportunity for spectators
to walk around the cross country course.
perhaps explains why seats are unfilled. It's a long day of dressage,
people watch five or six tests and then they go and look around.'
The equestrian event is being held at Greenwich Park, which dates from 1433 and is the oldest royal park in London.
The main equestrian arena sits right in front of Queen's House, a
17th-century building designed as a summer palace for Queen Anne of
Denmark, the wife of James I.
Horses are a big part of the royal family: the queen is an accomplished and enthusiastic equestrian and still rides often.
Anne is not only president of the British Olympic committee but a
member of the International Olympic Committee and a former equestrian
eventing Olympian herself.
She competed in the 1976 Montreal Olympics but her horse fell going over a jump during the cross country event.
the first day of the dressage competition Saturday, Australia took the
early lead with Germany and the United States close behind.
who was named BBC Sports Personality of the Year after being crowned
eventing world champion in 2006, will compete in the individual and team
three-day eventing competitions.
Kate and Prince William are
gearing up for an extremely busy few weeks, as the Royal couple prepare
to support Team GB at this year’s Olympics.
The Duchess, who proved what a keen
sports player she is last week playing table tennis, is rapidly
branching out more and more as a Royal in her own right.
will be attending a number of the Olympic solo engagements in the
coming weeks including sailing events and the hockey, which she played
herself during her school days at Marlborough College.
Great Britain's Zara Phillips competes in the dressage stage on the second day of the Olympics
Princess Anne, left, mother of Zara Phillips, attends the equestrian eventing dressage phase with Prince Phillip