Wednesday, 19 October 2016

A royal reception for Rio heroes

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh at the reception for Team GB's Olympic and Paralympic stars 
(picture Royal Family Twitter still)

After big parades to celebrate their success, it was time for a glittering royal finale. Team GB's Olympic and Paralympic stars gathered at Buckingham Palace for a reception celebrating their success last night. It was hosted by the Queen with many other senior royals in attendance - a truly regal ending to the fairytale of Rio.

Complete with the many medals won across those weeks of competition in Brazil, the British athletes of the 31st Olympiad and 15th Summer Paralympic Games arrived in the famous courtyard of Buckingham Palace on huge team buses and in their their team uniforms ready to meet the Queen.

The Duke of Edinburgh, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry, the Duke of York, the Princess Royal, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester and the Duke of Kent were also on hand to meet and congratulate. And it was a good job too. After the huge success of Rio, with a tally of gold, silver and bronze that surpassed even London 2012 and both teams ending up second on their respective medal tables, there were plenty of congratulations needed.

From Britain's first golf medal winner since 1904, Justin Rose, to seven times medal winning equestrian, Anne Dunham, there were sports success stories in every part of the Palace last night.

It was also a first major appearance for the Team GB President Princess Royal, who had been at the Rio Games, since she was forced to cancel engagements across several weeks after developing a serious chest infection.

But the stars of the show were the Olympians themselves. After so much success in Rio and a victory parade in Manchester, this was the final act of epic celebrations. And a right royal one at that.

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