Olympic High Kingdom

Nearly 500 years after Henry VIII’s riverside jousting tournaments, horses have returned to Greenwich for more equestrian pageantry. Where once knights in full armour thundered towards each other intent on breaking their opponent’s wooden lance, yesterday’s dressage was all top hats and tails, highly controlled impulsion and submission. In place of the Tudor tilt yard, viewing gallery and towers, a massive 20,500 seat arena hosted the crowds of fair maidens and equine enthusiasts. And the royals were back spectating and competing, as was King Henry’s wont. Princess Anne and the Duke of Edinburgh were there to watch British Olympic hopefuls, Zara Phillips and High Kingdom. The pair are shown here at an intimate moment after their performance. By the evening they were ranked 24 out of 74 with two days to go.

Photo: Copyright Rosie Oliver, July 2012