The Cartier Queen’s Cup – an exciting British blend of heritage, sports & lifestyle
The leading jewellery brand Cartier is once again bringing their unique blend of style, elegance and glamour to the world-renowned Queen’s Cup polo competition, which has an extremely rich historical heritage and brings together the sport’s leading players from across the globe.
The trophy was first presented to the Guards Polo Club by HM The Queen in 1960, with Her Majesty historically attending the Finals Day and presenting the Cup to the winning patron.
The team sheet for this year’s edition of the high-goal polo competition is again reading like a Who’s Who of polo, with players often found attentively watching the games, when they are not active on the field themselves. There truly is no better place to keep a close eye on your rivals and their ponies.
The Guards Polo Club was founded on 25th January 1955 with HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, as President. However, the Club was originally named the Household Brigade Polo Club, and only changed its name to the present form in 1969. With about 1,000 non-playing members and about 160 playing members, among whom are some of the highest rated players in the world, the Guards Polo Club now is the largest polo club in Europe both in terms of membership and number of grounds. An astonishing 25 per cent of the players are overseas visitors from Europe, the Middle and Far East, North and South America, Australia and New Zealand, with around half of the playing members being professionals. The Club is located within the Great Park at Windsor that covers 4,800 acres, of which parts are open to the public. The Great Park’s present area was actually determined in the 1360s and it was very popular with Saxon kings as a hunting forest. The Guards Polo Club itself is set in the outstanding natural surroundings of Smith’s Lawn, which is thought to have been named after a game keeper at the time of the restoration in the 17th century. On Smith’s Lawn you can find the Clubhouse and 10 grounds extending over an area of some 130 acres, while at the nearby Flemish Farm, the Club has some 120 stables, an exercise track and a practice ground.
Things have changed quite dramatically since the first known recorded game which occurred about 600 BC in North Persia, It however took thousands of years for polo to take shape as we know it today. We can trace back the words ‘polo’ and ‘chukka’, to the middle of the 19th century when soldiers and merchants in Northern India adopted a game then played by Manipuri hillsmen. The name ‘polo’ is derived from the Indian ‘pulu’ for the wood from which the ball was made and the word ‘chukka’ from the Indian word for a circle or round. The Retreat at Silchar in India was founded in 1859 and is considered the first polo club. But only in 1875, when Hurlingham in London became the recognised headquarters of the game, formal rules were introduced.
Will you join us at the Guards Polo Club for one of the biggest polo tournaments in the world? Sponsored by Cartier since 2012, the Queens Cup Final on Sunday 14th June truly offers the most wonderful combination of exhilarating sport and elegant hospitality. In the Royal Box, HM The Queen is invariably joined by leading names from stage, screen and sport, so you can rest assured that you will be in extremely good company when attending this most exclusive and competitive polo event. This is a unique opportunity to soak up the quintessentially British atmosphere, action, style and hopefully also the sun.