10 Actual Hereditary Aristocrats Who Run The Olympics

The best way to get on the International Olympic Committee is to have one of your ancestors kill a dragon.

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In the middle of the Sochi story, between the Russian officials who want to enforce the country’s new anti-LGBT laws during the Winter Olympics and the activists who believe holding the Games in a human-rights-hostile atmosphere is immoral, are the 104 members of the International Olympic Committee. The members of the committee are the ones who chose Sochi as a location, and they’re the ones responsible for the security of athletes and staff, the ones who suffer financially in the event of a boycott or sponsor pullouts. And so far, the IOC’s reaction to events has been, at best, passive. The group said nothing publicly after the laws were passed and, when pressed in recent weeks, has said it’s received assurances from the Russian government that the law won’t affect the Games, a statement Russian officials then denied.

What is the IOC? Who are these people who have become so suddenly critical? Well, here are some of them:

1. Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal of the United Kingdom

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More commonly known as Princess Anne. Chairs the Hat Committee.

2. His Royal Highness Prince Feisal Al Hussein of Jordan

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On the left; seated behind him are the Countess and Earl of Wessex. Classic night out with the Countess and Earl of Wessex taking place here.

3. Her Royal Highness The Princess Nora of Liechtenstein

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At right. Seen here with Prince Joachim of Belgium, with whom she is a godparent of the baby, who is Princess Laetitia Maria of Belgium. The baby is a princess.

4. His Royal Highness The Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg

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The capital of Luxembourg is Luxembourg. It’s the city so nice they named it twice and made it tiny and hard to find on a map.

5. His Royal Highness Prince Nawaf Faisal Fahd Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia

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Pink pants + horses = Pink Pants Horse Party.

6. His Royal Highness Prince Tunku Imran of Malaysia

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At right.

7. His Royal Higness The Sovereign Prince Albert II of Monaco

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Prince Albert is the pilot of the Monaco “bobsleigh” team.

8. His Majesty King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands

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Seen here with Queen Beatrix who is wearing the Dutch national tree on her head.

9. His Royal Highness Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark

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In the gray suit. “I’m on a boat, bitch!” — His Royal Highness Crown Prince Frederik

10. Her Royal Highness Princess Haya al Hussein of the United Arab Emirates

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Obviously gunning for the Hat Committee chairwomanship behind Princess Anne’s back.

11. Princess Duchess Nancy Fancypants of Wizard Elf Castle

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That last one may or may not be real. But this fact is: 10% of the International Olympic Committee consists of European and Middle Eastern dukes and princesses. Ten of the people in charge of handling this international human rights crisis have the job title of “aristocrat.” It’s not reassuring.

CORRECTION: Prince Joachim is Belgian. An earlier version of this item misstated his nationality. (8/18/13)

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