In commemoration of the centenary of the 1919 Royal Henley Peace Regatta, Military VIIIs will once again compete against each other at Henley Royal Regatta after a one-hundred-year hiatus.
For the first time, male and female military athletes will row in the same boat at an elite international event. The King’s Cup will see crews from the original six nations of Australia, Canada, France, New Zealand, the UK and the USA, joined by Germany and the Netherlands, competing in a knock-out format over the final three days of the 2019 Henley Royal Regatta.
“The Regatta is delighted to host such an important commemoration. The 1919 Royal Henley Peace Regatta was a key milestone in our sport and was staged by the rowing community to help heal wounds and hasten the return to normality of the Allied nations and their troops recovering from the First World War”. - Sir Steve Redgrave, Chairman of the Regatta’s Committee of Management
The original cup presented by Princess Arthur of Connaught at Royal Henley Peace Regatta in 1919 was a gift from King George V. Gilded solid silver, this ornate cup was made in 1876 and its history prior to 1919 is unknown. Post 1919, won by the Australian Army No 1 crew and then wrestled from the Australian authorities by the crew with the help of the King and Winston Churchill, the cup is now the perpetual interstate Australian men’s’ VIII trophy.
Crews at Henley in 2019 will be competing for a newly commissioned King’s Cup. The 2019 cup was designed by the Chairman of the King’s Cup Organising Committee, Chris Hartley, and executed by Regatta silversmiths Ottiwell:
- Sterling silver with an outline reminiscent of the 1919 profileSilver clad wooden turned base of eight sections from original Henley Royal Regatta booms
- The ‘Thames gold’ tracing the River Thames and its major tributaries incorporating the eight national gifts
- The placement of a single diamond that highlights the Henley Royal Regatta course
- Six visible sections on the cup representing the original six nations complimented by the lid and base to make eight.
- The use of a striated egg cap acknowledging the original 1919 welcome pineapple, the essence of femininity involved in 2019 and the annual ground rent of two goose eggs for Temple Island.
Each gift represents something of the nation from which they come, melded together and bound with gold and copper both stronger and in parts more fragile than its original components.
“The 2019 King’s Cup campaign has been several years in the making and has strong support from all eight nations. It once again demonstrates the power of sport to build positive change,” he said. “As military forces around the world embrace gender inclusiveness, the prospect of mixed crews racing at the Regatta is tremendously exciting. As in 1919, the Regatta is breaking new ground and we anticipate highly competitive racing”. - Chris Hartley, HRR
The design of the 2019 King’s Cup had to satisfy four objectives:
1. Celebrate eight allies fittest and finest with an intrinsically confident design
2. Honour the past by connecting and complementing the 1919 cup
3. Articulate the military collaboration of men and women in their spare time as on the front line.
4. Incorporate eight highly symbolic contributions by the participating nations with a sense of place
WHAT IS HENLEY ROYAL REGATTA?
Henley Royal Regatta is the pre-eminent, river-based international rowing regatta. It has an unparalleled tradition and place in the hearts of top rowers around the world. Held annually since 1839, except during the two World Wars, Henley forms an essential part of the British summer sporting scene.
More than 300,000 spectators are attracted to the Regatta each year, and competitors liken the experience to rowing “in a stadium” such is the proximity, number and noise of the knowledgeable crowd that lines the banks. Rowing greats and Olympic champions such as Sir
Steve Redgrave, now Chairman of the Committee of Management of the Regatta, Sir Matthew Pinsent, Dame Katherine Grainger, and others can all count Henley titles amongst their biggest achievements.
The 1919 cup was won by the Australian Army Crew and is currently on display in the Australian War Memorial, Canberra.
DISCOVER THE BREMONT HENLEY ROYAL REGATTA SPECIAL EDITION
Bremont were appointed the first Official Timekeeper in Henley Royal Regatta’s history. To celebrate this exciting partnership, Bremont has handcrafted commemorative mechanical stopwatches for Henley Royal Regatta and developed a range of Regatta wristwatches for Members, Competitors and Winners.
These models are based on the core collection AIRCO range.