LONDON – The worst-kept secret of the Olympic Games was officially revealed on Tuesday as Prince Harry confirmed he will attend the women’s beach volleyball final.
The womanizing ways of Harry, the self-styled Playboy Prince, have gained legendary status in the United Kingdom, and I reported earlier this year how he eagerly requested premium seats at the beach volleyball event, which will be held in Horse Guards Parade just outside Buckingham Palace.
Harry will attend the final on Aug. 8 as part of an extensive viewing schedule that will see him and the royal newlyweds – his brother William, Duke of Cambridge and the Duchess of Cambridge (formerly Kate Middleton) – watch more than 30 events.
William’s Olympic experience will be cut short when he is forced to return to his naval base in Wales, but Harry will watch at least one session on virtually every day of the Games.
Among Harry's highlights are the men’s 100-meter track final and the chance to watch his cousin Zara Phillips compete in the equestrian competition. But a spokesman also confirmed he was especially excited about seeing the likes of Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor compete on the makeshift “beach” erected in the heart of London.
On an official royal visit to Rio de Janeiro earlier this year Harry was put through his paces by some leading players on the legendary Copacabana beach, and he always intended to make the sport a priority of his Olympic experience.
“Everyone knows Harry loves sport and is planning to see many events during the Games,” a source told me in January. “However, it is fair to say he is particularly excited about the beach volleyball and is looking forward to seeing the action.”
First port of call for the young royals is a lavish reception hosted by the Queen for visiting heads of state at Buckingham Palace on Friday, just before the dignitaries travel to the Olympic Stadium for the Opening Ceremony.
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William’s limited program features a Great Britain soccer match against the United Arab Emirates on Sunday, where he will mix leisure with his official role as head of the English Football Association.
Kate, meanwhile, made a special point of requesting seats for field hockey, the sport she played to a competent level at her exclusive private school, Marlborough College.
William and Harry’s father, Prince Charles, the first heir to the throne, is scheduled to watch Britain’s newly crowned Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins in the men’s cycling road race, as well as witnessing a session of badminton.
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