It looks set to be plain sailing from Sunday 3rd August as Prince Philip and his daughter Princess Anne both attend the historic Cowes Week on the Isle of Wight.
Prince Philip will be in attendance at a number of different events both on Sunday and Monday. The annual Cowes Week service at the Holy Trinity Church is amongst the events that Philip will be attending as well as a dinner at the Royal Yacht Squadron to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Cowes Combined Clubs.
Cowes Week originates from King George IV’s passion for yachting and the first race was held on Thursday 10th August 1826. The event is held on the Solent, which is the area of water between Southern England and the Isle of Wight and the early 20th century saw the regatta continue to grow in strength and popularity. From 1946 onwards other Cowes based clubs organised racing either side of the original three days and once again the festival grew in size and popularity. The Britannia Cup replaced the Kings Cup and was first awarded by King George VI in 1950.
A turning point for Cowes Week came in 1997 when the Royal Yacht Britannia was decommissioned, depriving Cowes of one of its most famous symbols. Some eight years later came another stand out moment for the regatta, 2005 saw a record breaking 1036 entries making it to date the largest Cowes event ever. It is no wonder that Cowes Week attracts Olympic and world class professionals as well as weekend sailors, thus making it the largest sailing regatta of its kind in the entire world.
It won’t just be The Duke of Edinburgh who will be paying a visit to Cowes. The Princess Royal will arrive on Monday where she will first and foremost attend a commemoration vigil to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War.
Princess Anne is a Royal who is known for getting stuck in and that is exactly what she will do at Cowes on Tuesday. She will take to the sea with charity UKSA and we can assume that the Royal is very much looking forward to it.
One man who is looking forward to the visits from two Royals is Lord Lieutenant of the Isle of Wight, Major General Martin White, who commented, “I am very much looking forward to welcoming HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and HRH The Princess Royal to the Isle of Wight, both of whom are regular visitors to the island. I am particularly pleased that The Princess Royal is to join our commemorations to mark the centenary of the start of the First World War.”
It appears that the organisers of Cowes Week 2014 are going over-board with all the festivities they have planned for visitors, which includes a spectacular fireworks display, and it looks set to be a festival to remember. What with the presence of Royalty too, one can rest assured that there will be no abandoning ship!
photo credit: University of Salford via photopin cc