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Olympics role for William and Kate

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry will promote Britain's athletes in the run-up to and during the London 2012 Games as official ambassadors, St James's Palace has announced.

William, Kate and Harry said they were "honoured" to become ambassadors for Team GB and ParalympicsGB, and will play an active role encouraging the public to support the sportsmen and women.

It is likely the trio will visit the teams over the coming months before the Olympics begin next July and the Paralympics a month later, and also have some involvement in the global competitions.

They began their ambassadorial role with a message of support for the Team GB Ambition Programme which offers aspiring athletes and coaches a first-hand understanding of the Olympic environment during the Games.

William said: "Catherine, Harry and I are honoured to be ambassadors for Team GB and ParalympicsGB. London hosting the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will inspire so many people - particularly the young - to be the best they can be.

"We are hugely looking forward to this incredible sporting competition, but are also looking beyond next summer's Games to the springboard it will provide for future success and excellence.

"The athletes and coaches taking part in the Team GB Ambition Programme are part of that future success - potential medal-winners and sources of inspiration to come. We hope they enjoy the experience of London 2012 to the full, and learn from it how to become successful British Olympians of the future."

Kate's ambassadorial role is her first official position with a national organisation - she is already a patron of William and Harry's charitable foundation.

St James's Palace said in a statement: "Their Royal Highnesses will also use their roles to promote the importance of participation in Olympic and Paralympic sport and encourage greater awareness of the Olympic and Paralympic values."

The promotional work the trio will undertake deepens the monarchy's connections with the Games. The Queen is patron of the British Olympic Association (BOA) while the Princess Royal is its president, a member of the International Olympic Committee and also on the London 2012 board. The Earl of Wessex is patron of the British Paralympic Association (BPA).

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