The British Royals Are Massive Sports Fans, Minus the Body Paint and Tailgating
The British royal family meet a LOT of people, and while there is usually plenty of smiling and polite conversation, they seem to have an extraspecial rapport when it comes to sports stars. It may have something to do with the fact that the family are active and sporty themselves, or maybe they're just big fans of the star athletes they meet, but one thing's for sure — there have been plenty of interesting exchanges over the years. Some of the meetings have even led to friendship and, on one occasion, even more, so keep reading to see them all now.
Harry and Usain Bolt
The prince and the Olympian became fast friends after meeting in Jamaica when Harry was on his first royal tour in 2012. Harry then supported Usain at the London Olympics, wearing a Jamaican scarf in the stands as he watched the sprinter race to victory, and the pair have since sent each other a few humorous tweets. Harry even bought shares in a racehorse called Usain Colt!
Kate and the GB Women's Hockey Team
Kate was on the hockey team at school, so there's always plenty for her to chat about with the players whenever they cross paths.
William and Kate With LeBron James
The duke and duchess met the NBA superstar when they watched the Brooklyn Nets play the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Barclays Center during their 2013 trip to New York.
William and Kate With the England Men's Football Team
As president of the Football Association, William has attended many key national and international games and has presented the FA Cup to the winning players on many occasions. In 2012, he and Kate opened the Football Association's National Football Center.
The Queen and Harry With Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson and Sir Mo Farah
Olympians Dame Tanni and Sir Mo were awarded their honors at Buckingham Palace for achieving excellence in their fields and later returned for an event to inspire young people.
Kate and Greg Rusedski
As a huge tennis fan, Kate would have grown up watching Greg play, never realizing at the time that she would one day be the royal patron of Wimbledon . . .
William and Steven Gerrard
As president of the Football Association, Prince William is on familiar terms with many Premier League players — even more so after dropping by the dressing room after a game in 2014 . . .
William and the England Women's Football Team
The Lionesses have had more sporting success then their male counterparts in recent years, AND they got to have breakfast at Kensington Palace with Prince William. The prince also attended a training session with the team earlier this year.
William and David Beckham
The prince and the former England captain go back a long way, as they worked together on England's failed 2018 World Cup bid in 2010. David was then a guest at William and Kate's wedding in 2011 and a few months later was at a welcome party in LA when William and Kate embarked on their first royal tour.
Harry and Mark Teixeira
During his 2013 tour to North America, Harry received a little baseball lesson from the former Yankees star and some local kids at a charity-funded baseball diamond in Harlem.
Harry and James Haskell
Harry is a big rugby player and spectator and is also patron of the Rugby Football Union. He and Wasps Flanker James have been friends for a few years and have even had nights out around London together.
Kate and Sir Ben Ainslie
Kate learned how to sail at a young age and crewed boats as a job before she went to university, so she and Olympic gold-medal-winning sailor Ben had plenty to talk about when they first met. They have since developed a friendship, and Kate is patron of Ben's charity the 1805 Trust.
William and Steffi Graf
William is more of a tennis fan than younger brother Harry and has an easy chemistry with some of the biggest stars of the game.
William and Andre Agassi
William caught up with husband and wife Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf, former tennis pros, in the Royal Box at Wimbledon in 2012.
Kate and Steffi Graf
Tennis is one of Kate's passions, so there was plenty for her and former pro Steffi Graf to chat about in the Royal Box in 2012.
Harry and Missy Franklin
Harry hit it off with Olympic gold-medal-winning swimmer Missy when they met in 2013, and he even ended up singing "Happy Birthday" to her since it was her 18th.
Harry and Sir Viv Richards
Harry met cricket legend Sir Viv in Antigua on his tour of the Caribbean last year.
Kate With Sir Lee Pearson and Ellie Simmonds
At a party for team GB gold medalists after the London Olympic and Paralympic Games, Kate chatted with swimmer Ellie and equestrian Lee.
Harry and Ian Thorpe
Harry and Olympic gold-medal-winning swimmer Ian hung out at the 2016 Invictus Games in Miami.
The Queen and Sir Chris Hoy
Multi-gold medalist Sir Chris Hoy has made many public appearances with the royal family, and he passed the torch during the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014.
Kate and Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill
Kate was an almost daily presence at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and visited the Olympic Village to meet some of the athletes.
The Queen and Hannah Cockroft
Wheelchair racing world record holder Hannah won two gold medals at the London 2012 Paralympic Games and chatted with the queen at a celebratory reception at Buckingham Palace.
William and Kate With the England Men's Football Team
It's not every day that chatting with half-naked men in a jacuzzi is part of your job description, but William and Kate managed to keep their composure.
Harry and Dikembe Mutombo
William, Kate, and Harry established the charitable endeavor Coach Core in 2012, aiming to encourage young people to train as sports coaches, and in 2015, Harry hosted a Coach Core graduation ceremony at St. James's Palace, attended by NBA Global Ambassador Dikembe.
Harry and Carmelo Anthony
At the Coach Core graduation ceremony in 2015, Harry was presented with a basketball jersey by NBA All-Star Carmelo.
William and Kate With the GB Women's Hockey Team
At a post-Rio Olympics reception, William and Kate had a catch-up with the gold-medal-winning women's hockey team.
Harry With Jason and Laura Kenny
Gold-medal-winning cyclist couple Jason and Laura Kenny hung out with Harry during the London Olympic Games.
Kate with Kim Clijsters and Martina Navratilova
This year, in her role as royal patron of Wimbledon, Kate met two tennis giants.
William and Harry With David Beckham
William and Harry have both been friends with David for many years, and Harry has socialized with the soccer superstar on more than one occasion at exclusive London private members club The Arts Club.
William, Kate, and Harry With Sir Chris Hoy
Supercyclist Chris Hoy spent time at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Like William and Kate, he studied at St. Andrew's University, although he left five years before they started.
Harry and Chris Robshaw
Harry played rugby at school and often incorporates it into his sporting engagements with kids, so it's no surprise he gets on so well with the professional players.
The Queen and Freddie Flintoff
The Ashes-winning cricketer charmed the queen at a Buckingham Palace reception in 2006.