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The Duke & Duchess of Sussex raise $1 million for charity Sentebale Royal Salute Polo Challenge in Palm Beach



From left: Ignacio "Nacho" Figueras, Delfina Blaquier, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry attend the Royal Salute Polo Challenge in Palm Beach, Florida on April 12, 2024. REBECCA BLACKWELL/AP


Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex, Co-Founding Patron of Sentebale played at the Grand Champions Polo Club in Wellington, Florida in support of Sentebale’s work with children and young people in Lesotho and Botswana. Playing for the Royal Salute Sentebale Team, the Duke and his teammates took home the win. The Duke scored a goal, taking the ball out of the air, his team winning 3-1 against the Grand Champions team. This marks the first time The Duke has played in Wellington since 2016.


The 2024 Royal Salute Charity Polo Challenge, a dinner and panel in Miami on April 11 where Harry spoke about his love of Africa along with a Sotheby's Sentebale Benefit Auction has raised $1 million so far for Sentebale.

Excited crowds cheered on the Royal Salute Sentebale Team, captained by Malcolm Borwick as they took on the Grand Champions Polo Club Team, captained by Sentebale Ambassador and Prince Harry's long-time best friend Nacho Figueras in a fast-paced game. MVP of the game was long time supporter, and Maseru team captain Steve Cox, and best playing pony was Sarah Jessica ridden by Figueras. Just under 300 guests attended the event, including Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex, Argentine socialite, photographer and fashion businesswoman Delfina Blaquier (wife of Figueras), many other special guests, sponsors and supporters of Sentebale who together made the event a great success for a wonderful cause.



As part of the program, The Duke moderated a fireside chat with Sentebale’s Board Chair, Dr Sophie Chandauka, and Ntoli Moletsane, Sentebale’s Lesotho-based Country Director who has been with the organization for 14 years, as they discussed the future ambitions for Sentebale, and the ongoing challenges for children and young people in the southern African country.


Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex, Co-Founding Patron of Sentebale said,


“Bringing together the polo community that has long supported the work of Sentebale is always a great experience. Today, we raised funds to support our local teams on the ground deliver life changing programs. The Sentebale team's commitment plays an essential role in the lives of children and young people across Lesotho and Botswana, offering them hope, education and the means to combat the complex social challenges they face including high unemployment, poverty and the impact of HIV/AIDS. We are grateful to all of the guests, sponsors and partners who came together today to support this important work, and of course a huge thank you to all the players for making today’s game possible.”


Meghan Markle (left) and Prince Harry attend the Royal Salute Polo Challenge in

Palm Beach, Florida on April 12, 2024. REBECCA BLACKWELL/AP


Nacho Figueras, Sentebale’s Ambassador said,

“Playing alongside my friend Prince Harry in support of Sentebale continues to be a profound honour. In this case it’s more than just a game; it’s a shared commitment to making a positive impact in the lives of those in need. Through our partnership on the field, our mission is to raise awareness and support for Sentebale’s vital work.”

Dr Sophie Chandauka MBE, Chair of Sentebale adds,

“We are two years away from celebrating this extraordinary organization’s 20th Anniversary, and the welcoming support we get from every community we hold our fundraising events in continues to showcase that the work we’re doing matters to people and to our partners like Royal Salute. There is no one this support matters more to than the children and young people who benefit from our programmes, and who’s potential is turned into the possibility of a future that means successfully navigating the challenges of poverty and inequity.”

The funds raised from this year’s Royal Salute Polo Challenge are essential to the ongoing programming in Lesotho and Botswana led by Sentebale’s talented local team.

Sentebale’s holistic package of support for vulnerable children and young people focusses on four key areas:

  • Strengthening the social and emotional wellbeing of those living with or affected by HIV.

  • Working with communities to provide young people with access to health and social services.

  • Driving youth advocacy to improve health, education, and social protection.

  • Building individuals skills and livelihoods so they are more resilient, self-confident and empowered members of their communities.

Most recently, Sentebale has expanded into the regeneration of landscapes to mitigate the adverse impact of climate change on the natural resources that communities rely on for survival. This layered approach is supporting positive health outcomes, increasing access to education and services, improving overall livelihoods, and is nurturing children and young people reach their full potential.


Sentebale is enormously grateful to all the players and partners for their support in making this year’s event possible including, Royal Salute, U.S. Polo Assn, the Grand Champions Polo Club and the Ganzi Family, Four Seasons, and The Cox Family of Oklahoma.

For more information about Sentebale’s work please visit sentebale.org.




The Duchess of Sussex, 42, wowed in white as she attended the event, supported her husband and enjoyed some quality time with friends in a white halter dress with a midriff cutout and statement sunglasses. With the stylish "Meghan Effect", the Ginger dress is already SOLD OUT!

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle film their new Netflix series about the world of professional polo at the Royal Salute Polo Challenge at the Grand Champions Polo Club in Wellington, Florida, on April 12, 2024. Photo Courtesy: BACKGRID


The polo game in Wellington, Florida comes one day after Harry and Meghan's Archewell Productions revealed in a press statement that two new series are in the "early stages" of production at Netflix and that titles and release dates would be revealed “in the coming months.”. Filming for the series took place at the event. The power couple, who serve as executive producers on the series, may make cameo appearances but are not slated to be the stars of the show.


In addition to a show curated by Meghan that will "celebrate the joys of cooking and gardening, entertaining and friendship," another nonfiction series will "provide viewers unprecedented access to the world of professional polo."


"Known primarily for its aesthetic and social scene, the series will pull the curtain back on the grit and passion of the sport, capturing players and all it takes to compete at the highest level," according to a statement on a project centered around the U.S. Open Polo Championship in Florida. Miloš Balać (Welcome to Wrexham) is the showrunner.


 

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