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Princess Anne visits the Isle of Wight to attend the historic Cowes Week

Despite most royals having started their summer holidays already, the Princess Royal continues to plough on, conducting a grand total of six engagements on Monday.

Her Royal Highness is spending a couple of days on the Isle of Wight where she attended a series of events to mark Cowes Week.

Cowes Week is one of the longest-running regular regattas in the world. More than 1,000 boats and 8,000 competitors are currently at the event, making it the largest sailing regatta of its kind in the world.

The regatta 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.

Whilst on the island, Princess Anne visited the Royal National Lifeboat Institution Station in Cowes, as well as the Royal National Lifeboat Institution Inshore Lifeboat Centre which is located in the same small town.

The Princess, as Admiral of The Royal London Yacht Club, also attended a reception for this cause.

On Tuesday, Princess Anne will spend the whole day watching the Cowes Week races from the Royal Yacht Squadron Battlements.

Major General Sir Martin White, Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant for the Isle of Wight, said: “We are very pleased to welcome Her Royal Highness back to the Island particularly during Cowes Week when she will have an opportunity to see other aspects of life in our community.”

Princess Anne became Patron of The National Coastwatch Institution in 2017.

The 67-year-old royal is a keen yachtswoman herself and has attended Cowes Week on many occasions in the past.

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