It wasn't your everyday family outing.
On Monday as the Queen's granddaughter Zara Phillips competed in the difficult cross-country portion of Olympic equestrian event, her relatives Prince William, Kate, Prince Harry, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, and Camilla all applauded enthusiastically from the stands, as about 50,000 other spectators – including Phillips's mother, Princess Anne – viewed from along the 3.5-mile, 28-obstacle course.
Five minutes after setting off on her horse High Kingdom, Phillips, wearing No. 40, negotiated the Tower of London fence, eliciting tremendous applause – including from her cousins. Sitting between William and Camilla, Kate, who wore a pale blue Team GB badge on the right lapel of her navy blue jacket, also beamed a huge smile.
And there were more smiles to come.
"The crowd was unbelievable!" Phillips, who clenched her fist aloft in a victory gesture, said after crossing the finish line. "I hope I didn't take any heads off on the way cutting corners."
Olivia Harris / Landov
Finishing well under pace time, Phillips, 31, has now well positioned her team at the near-halfway point in the 74-rider field. Her final time was nine minutes, 55.11 seconds, safely under the 10-minute, 3-second time limit, and all the more impressive because High Kingdom lost a shoe en route.
"He did amazing," said Phillips, who had made her Olympic debut Sunday. "He really grew up and stepped up to the plate."
Her only objection: The crowd's cheers "were so loud you couldn't hear the stopwatch beeping."
As for the other royals, they seemed to have no complaints at all, and left around 10 minutes after Phillips finished – with Kate kissing Eugenie and Beatrice as they departed.
Also sweetening the event: Monday marks the first anniversary of Phillips's marriage to Mike Tindall, captain of England's rugby team.