Polo bids adieu to Britain’s longest reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth II
After more than seven decades of service, and more than 95 years of an extraordinary life dedicated to duty towards the citizens of the UK, and countless charities, polo patron Queen Elizabeth II passed away on 8 September 2022 at her beloved country residence, Balmoral Castle.
Source : Biblio Archives, Creative Commons
The world is saddened, and is mourning for the loss of the longest reigning monarch of the UK. She was 25 when she ascended the British throne after her loving father, King George VI, succumbed to lung cancer at the age of 56.
Apart from her ceremonial duties, her philanthropic contributions around the globe have been well known. From civic issues to community charities, The Queen has been a patron to more than five hundred of these.
With the responsibility of also being the head of the Commonwealth, the Queen travelled a lot. The Queen, along with the Duke of Edinburgh, visited India in January 1961 in the city of Udaipur and the royal family of Udaipur acted as principal hosts.
Her Majesty was also the chief guest for the Republic Day parade in Delhi in the same year.
The Queen contributed greatly to the universe of Polo and was a great supporter of the Royal Sport where she was papped many times donning her famous polo looks with bright colourful skirts, while gloves and majestic pearls .The sport of polo has been a part of the Royal Family's history dating back many generations, from the Queen Mother to Princess Charlotte.
Her love affair with horses and riding dates back to her childhood when Queen Mother would take her to Polo matches, which perfectly passed down to her son King Charles. Following his mother’s death, King Charles said in a statement: ‘The death of my beloved mother, Her Majesty The Queen, is a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family. We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished sovereign and a much-loved mother. I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world.” The Queen and her son, now King Charles III of The UK shared the love for riding; he would go on to play polo and she rode horses until the last years of her life.
The mother-son duo have been clicked countless times at numerous polo events sharing a laugh or thoroughly enjoying the royal sport.
The Queen was the patron of one of the finest Polo Clubs across the world, including The Guards Polo Club, which was founded by her late husband His Royal Highness Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh.
The club hosted Her Majesty regularly at the Smith’s lawn ever since it was founded in 1955.
Interestingly, Indian Royalty such as the Maharaja of Jaipur, HH Sawai Padmanabh Singh of Jaipur has been a member of the Guards Polo Club ever since he played a competitive match in England in 2015.
Amongst such, the prestigious 22-goal tournament the Queen’s Cup, named in her honor is Britain's poshest Polo event put up by Cartier which hosts 500 tournaments every season annually. Apart from several contributions to charity matches like this, associations like the USPA (US Polo Association) have been partnering with the palace on its philanthropic missions through Polo tournaments in the US and the UK.
After the benchmark contributions of Her Majesty to the world of Polo, we hope to see the Royal successors walk a similar path and continue carrying forward the legacy of Queen Elizabeth II.