His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales attended the first Royal Salute Coronation Cup – the UK’s most prestigious international polo match – in aid of the Hurlingham Polo Association’s (HPA) Polo Charities Trust. After a hard fought match featuring some of the sport’s top players, His Royal Highness presented the mighty Coronation Cup to England after they beat South America 10 – 6 on The Queen’s Ground at Guards Polo Club. England’s Max Charlton, who was making his debut in this game, was named the Garrard Most Valuable Player, whilst Silver Lining, played by Brazilian Rodrigo Andrade, received the Gaucho Best Playing Pony prize.
Brigadier John Wright, Chairman of the HPA said: “This year’s Royal Salute Coronation Cup showcased international polo at its best. Both teams produced some superb sport and it was marvellous to see and hear the crowds cheering them on. England’s success today is testament to the hard work and commitment that England captain James Beim and his team have brought to this game and I would like to thank everyone who has supported them, especially their fellow players who generously loaned ponies. In addition, South America put up a great fight and entertained us for six glorious chukkas. I would also like to thank Vadim Grigorian and his team at Royal Salute who have created a world-class platform on which we will promote English polo to an increasing audience.”
Rising star of the game, Hugo Lewis, who has played so well in the high-goal this season for King Power Foxes, winning both the Queen’s and Gold Cups, was the first player to receive a trophy, although he was not in action today. He was named the HPA’s Best Young Player of the Year and recieved the Ferguson Trophy. His Royal Highness also presented the Diamond Jubilee Trophy to Guy Schwarzenbach as his Black Bears team had won the morning’s How To Spend It British 10 Goal Championship. They had defeated Gustav Rausing’s Tempest 8-6 in a fast-paced game on The Duke’s Ground.
A select group of celebrities, polo aficionados and international guests such as Natalie Coyle, Henry Conway, Alison Jackson and Alistair Guy joined temporal artist Marcos Lutyens in Royal Salute’s Secret Garden, curated by the award-winning gardener Stephen Woodhams, for a picnic designed to reverse the flow of time – dining amongst flowers recreating the floral displays at HRH Queen Elizabeth II’s 1953 coronation handpicked by acclaimed Chelsea Flower Show garden designer Stephen Woodhams, to celebrate the British love affair with horticulture.
Woodhams’ collaboration with Royal Salute is the latest in the inimitable whisky’s artistic collaborations with key previous collaborators joining Woodhams’ timeless floral hideaway. All explore Royal Salute’s fascination with time, since the brand’s youngest blend only contains precious, mature whiskies that are at least 21 years old.
This journey through time was designed to capture the power of polo – a game first recorded 2,500 years ago, but still thrilling crowds at Guards Polo Club today. The Royal Salute Coronation Cup is a key part of the whisky brand’s longstanding passion for the world of polo. The Coronation Cup was created to honour the coronation of HM King George V and Royal Salute was created to honour the coronation of his granddaughter, HM Queen Elizabeth II. With the The Queen’s own gardens at Buckingham Palace hosting 500 year old Mulberry trees and helliborine orchids not seen elsewhere in London for over a century, Woodhams fascination with historical gardens made him the ideal partner for the lush enclosure.
Vadim Grigorian, Royal Salute Global Brand Director, explains: “At Royal Salute, we agree with Stanford professor Robert Pogue Harrison when he says ‘a humanly created garden comes into being in and through time’. As a British brand, we are intrigued by this British gardening obsession, specifically with the time and care it takes to design an immaculate garden. It is only through time, tradition and craft where Royal Salute comes to existence, so we share similar principles with this quintessentially British tradition. And, where better to watch the oldest team sport on the planet? We at Royal Salute are deeply fascinated with polo – from its profound origins rooted in noble values to the naturally evolving symbiosis between player and horse. It is firmly planted in tradition, yet played in the modern world.”