It promises to be a thoroughly enjoyable day for Prince Charles on Saturday 26th July, as he attends the Audi International Polo featuring the Coronation Cup, at the Guards Polo Club in Windsor Great Park.
The heir to the throne will witness England take on Argentina for the cup, and if recent years are anything to go by, it will surely be a game of two very strong wills. England have had a successful run of wins in the past few years including a victory over the USA last year while it was Argentina who defeated England in 2009, could that be why they are ranked the number one in this sport.
This year’s showdown is being coordinated by the Hurlingham Polo Association (HPA), which is the UK’s governing body for the sport, and they have taken the decision to move the final to a Saturday, which ensures that you will be treated to a great game of polo but also to a perfect day out for the family.
If the tense game of polo wasn’t enough to entice people to the event, profits from the event go to HPA’s Polo’s Charities trust. The trust offers monetary support and even employment for injured players and officials of the sport, the money also helps to improve the welfare of ponies.
From the years 1995-2006, Prince Charles also raised an astonishing £8.4 million for charitable causes, just from playing polo. It seems that what the HPA can do, Charles can do equally as good, if not better.
The Coronation Cup originated way back in 1911 to honour the coronation of King George V. The aftermath of the Second World War, however, saw a prolonged decline in the sport and it wasn’t until 1971 that a set of friends from the UK and USA decided to revive the cup and rejuvenate peoples’s interest in the sport while they were at it.
Prince Charles has been an avid supporter of polo from a very young age, when he would watch his father, The Duke of Edinburgh, play at Windsor. In 1963, Charles played his very first game of polo and ever since he has been a competitive player of the sport, playing his first season of first class games in 1967 where his handicap was 1; this rose to 4 in 1982. It wasn’t just on home soil that Prince Charles played though – he found the opportunity to partake in a game while on visits to countries including Australia, India, USA, France and Malta.
The Prince of Wales is not the only member of his family who is a keen polo supporter and player. Both of his sons, Prince William and Prince Harry have on countless occasion participated in the sport, their most recent being on Father’s Day, when we unexpectedly saw The Duchess of Cambridge and Prince George watching from the sidelines. Following his retirement in 2005 from polo, Prince Charles’ ongoing interest in the sport is down to William and Harry’s continued participation.
Spectators at this weekends game will not be disappointed: in addition to some great polo playing there is hospitality in the International Pavilion, a retail village plus an after party. If you want a brilliant day in the presence of Royalty, then head down to Windsor Great Park on Saturday, even if you aren’t that keen on polo – it is a sport fit for Kings!
photo credit: Ramones Karaoke via photopin cc
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