With the number of active members of the Royal Family diminishing, will the Isle of Wight receive a royal visit this year?
2019 was a good year for royal visits on The Isle of Wight, but with Harry and Meghan performing their final official engagement on Monday (9th March) before departing to Canada to live as non-royals, and Prince Andrew stepping back from royal duties, will there be enough Windsors to go around?
2019 saw the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Kate visit The Isle of Wight in August for the inaugural King’s Cup Sailing Race. The event saw eight charities and their famous ambassadors represented by a yacht racing in the Solent and could be watched from the Cowes seafront.
Of the eight charities, Prince William competed on behalf of Child Bereavement UK and the Duchess, on behalf of The Royal Foundation, which works towards helping a variety of causes from mental health to global conservation. Both served as skipper on their respective vessels.
In the end, Prince William’s yacht finished in a respectable third place, whilst in an unlikely move that even those familiar with Royal Family betting & odds – which typically includes betting on things like who the next monarch will be and new baby names or genders – probably wouldn’t have seen coming, Princess Catherine’s yacht was disqualified!
The Isle of Wight has a long history of royal connections, beginning with Queen Victoria and Prince Albert building the famous Osbourne House in 1845. The house went on to be used almost as frequently as Balmoral by the royal couple and continued to be used by their many children. Years later, Queen Victoria’s Grandson, King George V first presenting the King’s Cup at Cowes’ Royal Yacht Squadron in 1920.
In recent years, we have seen visits from the Queen herself in 2012 and Prince Phillip The Duke of Edinburgh, who was a regular visitor until 2017, when he sadly announced that he would be stepping back from official visits to The Isle of Wight. With Kate and William including the King’s Cup as an official visit last year, it is hoped that should the race take place again this year, it will bring with it another visit from the Duke and Duchess.
However, considering the added responsibilities that the royal couple may now have since Harry and Meghan’s departure from royal duties it wouldn’t be totally surprising if William and Kate’s schedules are too full to attend the King’s Cup for a second year in a row. Perhaps instead, experienced sailor, HRH Princess Anne could make an appearance? Married to Vice-Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, the royal couple could very easily serve in a similar capacity as Kate and William, perhaps even using their seafaring experience to win the race!
For now though, the Duke and Duchess’ schedules for summer 2020 remain a mystery, with no published engagements on the royal family website’s diary section, and no official word on whether any other members of the royal family will be paying The Isle of Wight a visit, we can just keep our fingers crossed.