Royal Visitors

Prince Harry has visited Governors Island twice to play polo on the South Island fields (photo from

The great enthusiasm over Prince William and Catherine Middleton’s wedding earlier today put us in a royal state of mind and got us thinking about members of royal families who have visited the Island. We have been lucky to have had a few royal visitors in recent years.  

William’s younger brother Harry (now Britain’s most eligible bachelor) has visited Governors Island twice  for the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic (for those keeping track, the Prince’s team won the match two years in a row). Harry’s cousin, Princess Beatrice, also attended last year to cheer him on.   

In 2010, Prince Harry and Nacho Figueras race down the pitch to score in the Polo Classic

In 2009, to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s voyage into New York Harbor, Prince Willem and Princess Maxima of the Netherlands came to the Island and danced to the sounds of Armin Van Buren at Water Taxi Beach.

The royal couple from the Netherlands enjoyed the music of Armin Van Buren.
And, while Queen Elizabeth has never been on Governors Island itself, she did take a ride on our ferry, the Coursen, during her first visit to New York City in 1957.

More Than 12,000 Visitors Come to See Polo on Governors Island

Prince Harry and Polo Star Nacho Figueras played to a crowd of more than 12,000 this weekend at the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic on Governors Island (photo by Claire Agre)

Governors Island was once again home to polo this past Sunday when more than 12,000 visitors came to the Island to see the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic. Thousands of visitors donned hats, dresses and seer sucker suits and braved a warm day to see Prince Harry’s Black Rock team play Nacho Figueras’ Black Watch Team. The match was tied and went into overtime when Black Watch scored the winning goal to capture the game.

Many Governors Island visitors made a day out of the polo match by dressing up and picnicking next to the polo field

 It was wonderful to see thousands of people on Governors Island enjoying polo in such a unique setting.

Prince Harry and Polo Return to Governors Island

Last year thousands of visitors watched polo on the South Island fields

HRH Prince Henry of Wales returns to Governors Island this Sunday to play in the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic. Visitors are invited to come out to the South Island fields to see Prince Harry’s team Sentebale play world-class polo champion Nacho Figueras’ Black Watch Team. The polo grounds will feature an area that is free and open to the public, as well as ticketed areas.

While there is a ticketed portion of the event featuring a picnic and luncheon, there is bleacher and lawn seating available for the public. Bleacher and lawn seating is free. Tickets to the reserved portion of the event are sold out. Ticket proceeds benefit Prince Harry’s charity Sentebale.  

Polo is an historic use of Governors Island and was often played between the First and Second World Wars. This Sunday’s match will take place on the historic polo grounds, located on the southern part of the Island.

Polo is played on a field called a pitch. The Governors Island pitch is 750 feet long or more than twice the length of a football field. Each team consists of four players each. More than two dozen horses will be used for play during the match. There are four chukkas (quarters), which are several minutes each, as well as a half time. During half time, in the tradition of polo, all spectators are invited out onto the field for the divot stomp.

Some of our visitors have asked us for some helpful hints about polo on Governors Island. We have put them below for you: 

Enjoying Polo on Governors Island

Gates to the polo field open at 11 AM and the match begins at 2:45 PM.


Bleacher seating as well as lawn seating is available for the public. The public seating area is located on the western side of the polo pitch.

The public section may close if capacity is reached. It will re-open once space becomes available.  

Food and Drink

Visitors are welcome to bring blankets for picnicking and can bring their own food and drinks. Visitors can also purchase food from a variety of vendors on Governors Island and at the event.

Visitors are not permitted to bring alcohol to the Island.

So put on your hat and come out to the South Island fields to see polo in an incredible setting.

HRH Prince Harry of Wales to Play Polo on Governors Island

Last year, Prince Harry thrilled the public as he scored the winning goal of the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic


HRH Prince Henry of Wales will return to Governors Island on Sunday, June 27 to play in the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic. Prince Harry included the Polo Classic in his first official trip to New York City last June. This year, he will lead the Sentebale team as they face off against Nacho Figueras and the Black Watch. The match will once again have ticketed areas, and a new expanded area that will be free and open to the public. The public area does not require tickets. 

Polo was historically played on Governors Island between the world wars, and we are so pleased that the event is returning once again, with even more space for the public to come and enjoy the match.


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