The biggest event of 2011 has only two significant players, and is guarantee to end in a tie.

While sports events such as the Super Bowl and Olympic Games are the ultimate ratings-drivers, this year it will be the Royal Wedding of Britain’s Prince William and Kate Middleton which will outstrip all other occasions in terms of interest and viewership.

Yet, even though there will not be a ball kicked, a tackle made or a medal won, even sports fans with little affinity to regal matters can still find plenty of interesting links between athletics and royalty to pique their attention on April 29.

The British Royals have long held a fascination with sports, as competitors, patrons, and even in official administrative capacities. Prince William, for example, holds the position of president of the English Football Association, one of the oldest and most powerful national governing bodies in the soccer world.

Last year, the Prince threw his weight behind England's ultimately failed bid to host the World Cup, working closely with David Beckham in attempting to woo the delegates who would make the final decision.

That experience sparked a bond between the two men, who struck up an instant rapport and have now become close friends. Beckham and his wife Victoria were given one of the prized invitations to the wedding, and will take their places at Westminster Abbey as the world tunes in.

"(William) is obviously a member of the Royal Family but more than anything it is very impressive the work he does," Beckham told recently. "He is very down to earth and you can tell he really cares about English football and takes his role very seriously."

It doesn't stop with William. His cousin, Zara Phillips, is one of the stars of the sport of equestrian, having won the Eventing World Championship in 2006 and earning the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award that same year.

Phillips hopes to follow in the footsteps of her mother, Princess Anne, who competed in the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal. Phillips missed out on the Olympics in 2004 and 2008 when her horse, Toytown, suffered a pre-Games injury on each occasion. But she hopes to compete next year when the Olympics come to London.

One of the most popular members of the Royal Family and a close friend of Prince William and his brother Harry, Phillips has continued her obsession with sport in her private life. After dating jockey Richard Johnson for several years, she is now engaged to England rugby captain Mike Tindall, a jovial and well-liked character with a nose so bent out of shape from years of rugby abuse that Princess Anne has begged him to have it fixed before the pair get married.

Given their family heritage, it was unthinkable that William and Harry would not hold a strong interest in sports. Their uncle, Prince Andrew, is a four-handicapper and was named captain of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club, an antiquated institution still responsible for upholding the laws of the sport, for its 250th anniversary.

Prince Harry, the self-styled rebellious royal who has become Britain’s most loveable rogue, is most often seen in public at sporting events, even attending the PDC World Darts Championships a year ago, joining a boozy and bawdy crowd at London’s Alexandra Palace. Darts fans regularly hold up improvised placards to try to attract the attention of the television cameras, and Harry duly joined in -- instructing the crowd to sing a famous rugby song. A drunken cast of thousands merrily responded.

Historically though, Royal sporting involvement has taken a more proprietorial and high-brow tack, much of it surrounding the equine scene. Indeed, all the way back in the 16th century, King Henry VIII took time out from marrying and occasionally beheading his six wives to organize, ride in, and gamble on horse races. Fast forward a few hundred years and Queen Victoria is said to have become so excited during a race at Ascot that she broke a window in a rush to see the finish.

Current monarch Queen Elizabeth is a successful horse owner, with many of her stable having success in major events. According to the Royal Family's website, the queen "is regularly seen at race meets in both her private capacity as racehorse owner and breeder, and in an official capacity at events which enjoy Royal patronage."

There is little question that being heavily involved in sports has greatly helped the overall popularity of the Royal Family, even in a more skeptical modern era. Their interest may not always be your typical sporting fare, but this is not your typical family.

And if you find yourself kicking back on April 29, temporarily ignoring the NHL and NBA playoffs, and tuning instead to an event that has hymns not home runs, don't feel bad about it.

Soon enough, the Royals' attention will turn back to sports as well.

For more Yahoo! coverage of the Royal Wedding, click here.