What do British and Olympic royalty, Prince William and Michael Phelps, have in common? Fatherhood! The British royal and retired swimmer crossed paths on December 18 at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year, where the pair bonded over being parents to little ones.
The famous dads and Michael’s wife, Nicole Johnson, chatted backstage at the sporting event, where the American couple told Prince George’s father that the trip across the pond marked their first without their seven-month-old son, Boomer.
Photo: YouTube/ITN productions
“Oh, I can see why the retirement is looming,” the Duke of Cambridge joked after asking how old their baby is. “Never get you out of the house again!”
Kate Middleton's husband presented the Olympic champion with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the event held in Birmingham, England. “It’s also a particular privilege to be here tonight Michael to give you your Lifetime Achievement Award,” William said on stage before presenting the US athlete with the honor. “You’re one of the greatest sporting icons the world has ever had. Your 23 gold medals, never mind all the other colors, pales into sheer superhuman history.”
The royal dad-of-two added, “You should be so proud of your achievements and it will be many many years, if ever before anyone stands here again and calls you the greatest athlete in history so many many congratulations and hopefully your retirement gives somebody else the chance now.”
It's been an exciting year for Michael, who welcomed his first child in May, took home five gold medals in Rio bringing his total count to 23 gold medals and 28 overall, in addition to marrying former beauty queen Nicole Johnson in a secret wedding ceremony.
Following the BBC awards, the 31-year-old athlete took to his Instagram account to share a photo of himself on stage with Prince William and Australian swimmer Ian Thorpe. Attached to the post, the gold medalist wrote, “Such an honor to have been presented the BBC #spoty Lifetime Achievement Award from The Duke of Cambridge & one of the greatest, Ian Thorpe. What an amazing way to cap off my 2016!!”
WATCH WILLIAM AND MICHAEL'S EXCHANGE BELOW