Saturday, 25 Mar 2023

A look back at Queen Camilla’s role at Cheltenham

Camilla holds onto her hat as royals arrive at Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

In the years after Queen Camilla married into the Royal Family, it was reported that she and the late Queen Elizabeth II had built a close, warm relationship, the pair bonding over mutual passions. Animals and country living were among the two women’s shared interests, and following the death of Her Majesty, her daughter-in-law is taking on one of her most well-documented love affairs: Cheltenham Festival. Like Queen Elizabeth, Camilla is an avid equestrian fan and has often been spotted amongst the horse racing spectators at some of the country’s biggest events.

On Wednesday, the Queen Consort will return to Cheltenham Racecourse to mark the second day of its annual festival, at which Camilla has long been a regular. Here, takes a look at Camilla’s enduring affiliation with Cheltenham Festival.

Tune into our Royal Family Snapchat Show, every Monday exclusively on Snapchat

First year in the Royal Box

In 2006, almost a year after she married King Charles III, Camilla joined her new husband on the sidelines at Cheltenham Festival.

The then-Duke and Duchess of Cornwall were spotted alongside Camilla’s two children from her first marriage, Tom Parker-Bowles and Laura Lopes, and Tom’s wife Sara.

They enjoyed Day 4 of the festival, ‘Gold Cup Day’, and the Royal Family’s latest addition took “centre stage”.

It marked Camilla’s “most high-profile official engagement to date,” according to Hello! Magazine, who at the time reported the Duchess had “managed to charm fellow spectators”.

For the first time, Camilla presented the Gold Cup to Anita Farrell, whose husband, Ryanair Group CEO Michael O’Leary, owned the winning horse War of Attrition.

Noting the couple’s Irish backgrounds, Hello! wrote: “The Duchess was sporting a green titfer — complete with shamrock motif — as she handed the coveted trophy to Anita.”

That same year, Camilla was appointed as patron of the British Equestrian Federation. A year earlier, she was made a patron of HorseBack UK, a charity providing help, education and recovery tools to veterans needing mental health support.

‘Royal Family’s history of tangled love lives returned to the fore’ 

Camilla returned to the Gloucestershire racecourse in 2012 for Ladies’ Day.

Donning a spotty Anna Valentine dress, chocolate brown fur-trimmed hat and a teal bouclé coat, the royal was in fine form, according to reports at the time, but her choice of accessory caused a commotion among some royal watchers.

Pinned to the lapel of her coat was a diamond brooch, bearing the then-Prince of Wales’s insignia, with an emerald cabochon pendant suspended from the bottom.

The brooch, a gift from Charles, had previously been worn by the late Diana, Princess of Wales, as a necklace after she received it from the Queen Mother upon her marriage.

As the Daily Express’s royal correspondent Richard Palmer wrote at the time: “It was a day when the Royal Family’s history of tangled love lives returned to the fore, none more so than when Camilla was spotted in the priceless diamond brooch so adored by her predecessor Diana.”

When Diana died in a car crash in 1997, the brooch, which is technically owned by the monarch, was handed back to Queen Elizabeth.

“Camilla has generally avoided wearing Royal Family heirlooms that were used by Diana but she has made an exception for the brooch,” Mr Palmer said.

It was later confirmed by Clarence House that Camilla had chosen to wear the brooch because of the Queen Mother’s links to Cheltenham.

During the day of racing, Camilla was spotted alongside her ex-husband Andrew Parker-Bowles, her children, and Zara Tindall, the only daughter of Princess Anne.

She presented trophies for the Queen Mother Champion Chase and the Diamond Jubilee National Hunt Chase, which was named to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s 60th year on the throne.

A royal flush 

Camilla was spotted beaming with delight at Cheltenham Ladies’ Day in 2014 after winning a family wager with her son. Tom handed his mother a wad of £20 notes after 6-4 favourite Faugheen won in the first race.

Camilla was “gleefully waving a fistful of cash,” tweeted royal commentator Emily Andrews, after winning the “cheeky bet”, while Tom was seen looking a little peeved to have lost out.

The pair watched the races from the Royal Box, with Camilla spotted using a pair of binoculars to get a close-up of the action.

An onlooker said: “Camilla looked thrilled to bits and put the money straight in her handbag.”

Later, a Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said: “The Duchess of Cornwall was delighted with her win. She is a great horse lover and always enjoys coming to Cheltenham. All her family are racing fans.”

The then-Duchess was invited to the races by the chairman of Cheltenham racecourse, Robert Waley-Cohen, and presented trophies to the winners, including that of the BetVictor Queen Mother Champion Chase.

Camilla was once again spotted alongside her former husband Andrew, a fellow equestrian enthusiast who was once an amateur jockey. At the time, he tweeted: “Just arrived at Cheltenham. The greatest sporting event on earth.”

Don’t miss…
Queen Camilla centre stage after watching special ballet perform [LATEST]
Harry ‘still longs’ for royal association despite criticism of family [INSIGHT]
POLL: Should there be a national Princess Anne day? [POLL]

Family affair 

In 2015, the Parker-Bowles family were out in full force as they came together for the second day of the Cheltenham Festival.

Camilla was joined by her children Tom and Laura, who typically keep a low profile, in the Royal Box. Wrapped in warm winter coats, the trio watched the races and cheered on the horses and their riders.

Clutching onto her binoculars, Camilla appeared to be enjoying the equestrian event, with the royal spotted beaming throughout her outing.

She and her children, who are known to share a close bond, were accompanied by Tom’s wife, Sara Parker-Bowles, and Laura’s husband, Harry Lopes.

The family seemed to struggle to keep the laughter off their faces, with photographs showing them chatting and chuckling through the day.

Camilla, who was marking her 10th year as an official member of the Royal Family, later awarded the Queen Mother Champion Chase trophy to jockey Sam Twiston-Davies.

Member of the Jockey Club

At the end of 2015, Camilla accepted an invitation to become an honorary member of the Jockey Club, the organisation that owns Cheltenham alongside 13 of the other largest and best-known racecourses in Britain.

Queen Elizabeth was a patron of both The Jockey Club and the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association until her death in September 2022.

While another royal patron has not been appointed, King Charles and Princess Anne are both members of the club.

Camilla was invited to become an honorary member due to her love of horse racing and the support she offers to equine charities and disciplines.

Roger Weatherby, senior steward of the Jockey Club, told Sky News at the time: “We are honoured and delighted that Her Royal Highness has accepted our invitation to become an Honorary Member of the Jockey Club. The Duchess’ love of horses and horse racing is well known, along with her support for equine charities and disciplines generally.”

Unlikely duo

That same year, the then-Duchess returned to the racecourse for Ladies’ Day, where she rubbed shoulders with another equine enthusiast.

Camilla was spotted with former glamour model Katie Price and the pair appeared to get along famously.

The royal had been making her way back from the paddock, where she presented jockey Sam Twiston-Davies with his trophy after he won the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase, when she bumped into Ms Price and her friends.

After cheerfully posing for a photograph, Camilla returned to the Royal Box where she enjoyed a family day out with Tom, Laura, Sara and Harry.

“Me, Jordan, Camilla, Melodie, and Ann at the races ;),” Katie tweeted, along with the photo.

Patron of The National Stud

In 2018, the Jockey Club announced that Camilla had been appointed as the first-ever Patron of The National Stud, which plays an important role in supporting Britain’s Thoroughbred breeding and racing industries.

Mr Weatherby said: “We are honoured Her Royal Highness has accepted our invitation to become the first Patron of The National Stud.

“We greatly appreciate her support for an organisation which plays such an important role in Britain’s Thoroughbred breeding industry and training the next generation of stud staff and leaders.

“The Duchess’s love of horses and horseracing is well known, and we would like to build relationships between The National Stud and Her Royal Highness’s other equestrian and education patronages, including Ebony Horse Club.”

In her new role, Camilla visited the National Stud, based in Newmarket, and officially opened its refurbished stallion unit. The keen horsewoman and racehorse owner also visited the foaling unit and inspected mares and foals.

Since her appointment, the royal has attended the Cheltenham Festival twice, first in 2019 and again in 2020.

Her passion for all things equine, and frequent visits to the racecourse, place her among the Royal Family’s most dedicated horse racing enthusiasts.

Camilla handed out the winners’ trophies and was once again spotted alongside Princess Anne and Zara Tindall. And, as the Queen Consort gears up to attend this year’s festival, she is preparing to take on her biggest role yet.

All the Queen’s horses

King Charles inherited his mother’s horses following her death. Now, the Racing Post has reported that the registration of ownership will be changed, with Charles and Camilla becoming co-owners, marking the first time a King and his Queen Consort have both been registered owners.

Royal racing adviser John Warren confirmed the change had come into effect, telling the Racing Post: “The horses will be running in the name of His Majesty The King and Her Majesty The Queen Consort going forward.”

Mr Warren, one of the late monarch’s most-trusted friends, explained that Camilla will also co-own a number of horses with former Arsenal football club chairman, Sir Chips Keswick.

He said: “They will be joint-owners of their horses in training apart from some of the jumpers that Her Majesty will be owning in partnerships with Sir Chips Keswick, so they will run in both of their names.”

Queen Elizabeth always headed the Royal Family’s interest in horse racing, and now, sources claim Camilla will take the reins.

A senior racing source told the Mail on Sunday : “I think now it will be Camilla – she will be the figurehead. The plan has always been that Charles and Camilla would take on the legacy.

“Camilla obviously adores horses and is hugely passionate about racing. She really loves it, particularly Cheltenham – the jumps. I think there’s a pretty clear plan, given the Queen’s passion and love for racehorses.”

Source: Read Full Article

Related Posts