A version of this story appeared in the August 4 edition of CNN’s Royal News, a weekly dispatch bringing you the inside track on Britain’s royal family. Sign up here.
Well, it looks like the Prince of Wales isn’t the only royal making their way to Singapore soon. We recently found out that Prince Harry will also be grabbing his passport and heading to the Southeast Asian nation for his own charitable cause.
The Duke of Sussex will be competing in his Sentebale charity’s annual polo match there next weekend. Harry co-founded the organization with Prince Seeiso of Lesotho in 2006 with the goal of helping children in southern Africa affected by extreme poverty, inequality and the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Since 2010, its polo fundraiser has raised more than £11 million ($14 million), according to the charity.
Ahead of the competition, Harry described the event as “essential” to his charity’s work to ensure “children and young people are healthy, resilient, and able to thrive.”
He continued: “The funds raised this year will support our Clubs and Camps programme, which provides intensive psychosocial support to young people living with HIV. In a time where being HIV positive is no longer a death sentence, we are empowering young people to know their status, stay healthy, and eliminate the stigma so that they can break the cycle.”
The duke will play on the Royal Salute Sentebale Team, while his close pal, polo player Nacho Figueras, who is also an ambassador for the organization, will helm the opposing Singapore Polo Club Team.
Before touching down in the Lion City, the duo will make a stop in Tokyo on Wednesday for the ISPS (International Sports Promotion Society) Sports Values Summit, where they will join discussions on “the power of sport, community and philanthropy.”
ISPS founder Haruhisa Handa said: “ISPS Handa are delighted to be partnering with Sentebale this August on the special edition of ISPS Sports Values Summit in Tokyo and the annual Polo Cup in Singapore. Our respective organisations share a mutual responsibility to empower and aid those most in need and believe we can use the power of sport to do so.”
While he’s away, Prince Harry will no doubt be keeping across any developments in his ongoing legal cases against several British media outlets (more on that later). But with this trip, he’s clearly projecting a return to regular programming and refocusing public attention back on to his advocacy work after months of scrutiny over his private life.
Harry and Meghan also appeared to quash any conversation about their future by appearing together in a video released this week speaking out against cyberbullying. The pair were filmed calling several Responsible Technology Youth Power Fund recipients to talk to them about their work and thank them for their entrepreneurial efforts. It was the first time the pair had been seen together since the New York paparazzi car chase incident.
Meanwhile, Harry’s elder brother, Prince William, also has a trip to Singapore in his diary. But before you get too excited at the prospect of the pair reuniting, we have to burst your bubble as William’s trip – for the third iteration of his Earthshot Prize – is scheduled for early November.
William and Harry share a passion for polo and have often combined their love of the sport with their altruistic efforts. For the past two years, William has appeared at the Out-sourcing Inc. Royal Charity Polo Day raising funds and awareness for 10 organizations that he and his wife, Catherine, support.
For those unfamiliar with the game, polo involves horses charging across a field as their riders try to whack a ball through two goalposts using long-handled mallets.
It features two teams of four players and two mounted umpires. In the UK, a game is split into four chukkas, or quarters, each lasting seven minutes. If this all seems a little anachronistic, well, that’s because polo is more than 2,000 years old. It originated in Persia as early as the sixth century BC as training for cavalry troops before it morphed into a sport.
For the British royal family, it has provided the backdrop to serendipitous romantic meetings, family bonding and a very special gift from former US President Barack Obama to young Prince George.
In recent years, almost every member of the family has been pictured at a polo match, with King Charles, William, Harry and the late Prince Philip playing, while other family members presented trophies or watched from the sidelines. It was also at a polo match in Windsor in 1970 where a young Prince Charles reportedly first met Camilla Shand and they became friends.
Love of the game seems to be handed down to the next generation during childhood. One of the first times Prince Archie was photographed was at a polo match in 2019, when he was just two months old, as he watched his dad and uncle play at Billingbear Polo Club in Surrey, England. And his cousins George, Charlotte and Louis have also frequently been snapped at polo matches, though not necessarily watching them, but instead running around in the grass nearby or playing soccer. So, while it may not be a sport with mass appeal, polo’s future as a royal favorite seems safe.