HRH the Duke of Edinburgh will be the guest of honour at the opening ceremony of the most prestigious regatta in the world this year - the America’s Cup Jubilee

Between 18-25 August, the eyes of the sailing world will be trained closely on Cowes and the unprecedented fleet assembled for this celebration of all things America’s Cup. Such an occasion taking place without a royal presence would be unthinkable so it’s excellent news to hear that Prince Philip – the most ardent of royal sailors – will officially open the regatta.

HRH began sailing at Gordonstoun School as a boy and, after joining the Royal Navy, became a regular feature of Cowes Week for decades, along with Britannia, racing onboard a string of Aisher-owned Yeoman racing boats. Prince Philip has made many friends through sailing and many are expected to be in Cowes for the regatta.

Confirmed so far are HSH The Aga Khan, staying onboard Shergar – not the horse, his elegant and deceptively pacey, thanks to its waterjets, motoryacht. He attends officially in his capacity as President of the 12m Association. Prince Henrik of Denmark will be staying onboard Danebrog and racing during the regatta.

It’s a grand opening, starting with the Maoris. They will row across the Solent, or part of it at least, with the America’s Cup onboard. The Auld Mug will be presented to the Royal Yacht Squadron, marking its return 150 years after John Cox Stevens, skipper of America, accepted the prize and took it to New York. The Cup will be on display at RYS throughout the regatta.

The opening ceremony will take place on the parade at Cowes early on Saturday evening 18 August, when HRH will hold a reception, the ceremony itself, and then an official welcome for the competitors. That evening, the Jubilee Ball will be held at Queen Victoria’s Osborne House, 100 years after she died, but if your name’s not on the list?

In the aftermath of the Admiral’s Cup cancellation, this is an excellent chance for Cowes to demonstrate that it can host a top flight event and does value its lofty position in our sailing heritage above the merely commercial.

Click here for the regatta website.