The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge put their boating skills to the test today in The King’s Cup Regatta in Cowes on the Isle of Wight. William and Catherine each skippered a “Fast 40+ Class” boat and worked with crews of 12 during two short sails in the Solent, watched by Prince George and Princess Charlotte.
The royal couple hosted the event to raise awareness and funds for eight of their patronages, saw teams comprised of charity ambassadors from the worlds of broadcasting, entertainment, and sport.
Adventurer Bear Grylls, racing for the Tusk Trust, won the historic trophy. London’s Air Ambulance, skippered by historian and television presenter Dan Snow, took second prize, while Fara Williams, representing Centrepoint, and the Child Bereavement UK crew, led by the Duke of Cambridge, tied for third.
Sadly, The Duchess of Cambridge did not fare so well. Her team was disqualified in the second race for an early start and received the Wooden Spoon prize at the post-race trophy ceremony – a special honour reserved for the crew coming in last.
Kate sailed on behalf of the Royal Foundation’s Early Years programme, and was joined by comedian John Bishop for Action on Addiction, Katie Thistleton for Place2Be, and Helen Glover for the Anna Freud Centre.
The famously-competitive Cambridges appeared to take the results in their stride and showed no signs of hard feelings. The Duchess in particular seemed pleased with her trophy.
Fans could watch the races from the Cowes SailGP Race Village, which included seating for 500 spectators.
And, in a wonderful surprise or royal watchers, Prince George and Princess Charlotte appeared with grandparents Michael and Carole Middleton for the event. Prince George, 6, showed off two new gaps in his smile as he donned a captain’s hat watching the race, while Princess Charlotte, 4, cheekily sticking out her tongue at the crowd from inside.
The King’s Cup was first presented by King George V in 1920. It is hoped the regatta will become an annual event in future.