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  • HRH Prince Philip: Founder of Guards Polo Club

  • HRH Prince Philip: Founder of Guards Polo Club

HRH Prince Philip: Founder of Guards Polo Club
HRH Prince Philip: Founder of Guards Polo ClubHRH Prince Philip: Founder of Guards Polo Club

HRH Prince Philip: Founder of Guards Polo Club

Duke of Edinburgh to retire from public life

May 10, 2017
May 10, 2017
By Alejandra Ocampo

On Wednesday, May 3, Royal Staff at the service of HM Queen Elizabeth II were called to an emergency meeting at Buckingham Palace, due the next morning. The news sent a thousand rumors and speculations flying.

Fortunately, there was a relief. The call was to announce that Her Majesty's husband of almost 70 years, HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, had decided to step down from carrying out royal engagements. He will continue with his royal duties until August, and will not accept new invitations after that. The Duke, who turns 96 in June, will continue to be involved with the many organisations he is associated with as Patron, President, and member, but will no longer play an active role by attending engagements. It is said that he will attend some events from time to time. Among others, he will remain as President of Guards Polo Club, which he founded on January 25, 1955, at Windsor Great Park.

The Duke has earned a reputation for being one of the most active members of the House of Windsor and he is well known for his sense of humour. He was born in Corfu, Greece, in 1921, and has always been a great polo enthusiast, a sport he discovered thanks to his beloved uncle and tutor, Lord Louis Mountbatten. Not only did Lord Mountbatten introduce him to the sport he loved so much, but he also encouraged him to follow a naval career. Prince Philip discovered polo while in service in Malta, in the late 1940's.

As a a polo player, the Duke of Edinburgh reached a 5-goal handicap and won the prestigious Gold Cup for the British Open in 1957 and 1966, with his team Windsor Park; as well as the Royal Windsor Cup; the Westbury Cup, the Cowdray Park Challenge Cup; and he even made it to the semifinals of the Hurlingham Open, in Argentina, in 1966.

Back then, he was a huge fan of the Heguy brothers - he played alongside Alberto Pedro Heguy - and the legendary Coronel Suarez foursome. He admired the late Gonzalo Tanoira, with whom he developed a close friendship, nicknaming him "Speedy". Prince Philip wrote the prologue of the book by Gonzalo's widow, Luisa Miguens, "Passion and Glory: A Century of Argentine Polo", a review of the history of polo in Argentina, which features a stunning display of photos.

In the 1960's, he encouraged his son, HRH Prince Charles, to start playing polo, just like Lord Mountbatten did with him.

The Duke of Edinburgh gave up playing polo in 1971, and took up four-in-hand carriage driving, but he maintained an active role at his own Guards Polo Club. He watched the games from his seat at the Royal Box, and usually led the awards presentation of the Coronation Cup. In 2009, the Duke accompained HM Queen Elizabeth during the reopening of the beautiful clubhouse and Royal Box at Guards Polo Club, and in 2015 he hosted a gala event at Windsor Castle to celebrate the club's 60th anniversary.

Despite HRH Duke of Edinburgh retiring from royal duties, it doesn't mean he retires his love for polo; we're very much looking forward to seeing him at the club in the upcoming seasons!