A beautiful Royal Affair

This past weekend of the 13th of April, the quiet and isolated town of Turffontein was graced by the presence of Royalty, as thee princess Charlene of Monaco attended the Turffontein Royal race course for a majestic horse racing day.

Born in Zimbabwe and later relocating to South Africa, Lady Charlene grew up to become one of South Africa’s best swimmers. She went as far as representing South Africa at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. That very same year, while partaking in this water sport is where she met her beloved, Prince Albert. She has involved herself in organizations such as, Special Olympics, the Nelson Mandela Foundation, and the Red Cross Society, just to name a few. The Royal race day has been held annually in honour of the princess and closely its main focus was children welfare.

The day was pleasantly warm, the grass was lasher than ever, and the crowds painted the space with red and white colour theme.  Ladies and gentlemen were stylishly donned in their nice top hats and beautiful formal attires. The crowd began to gather from as early as 9am and food stalls were already set up for those early morning munchies. It was free entry to the public throughout the whole day, so you can just imagine the number of attendants walking in from morning till the afternoon.

If you thought it could not get any hotter in Turf’, you are wrong cause, just when you came through the gate you were met by the Tammy Taylor Mrs South Africa banners and there posed beautiful semi-finalists proudly receiving camera shots from left to right. These beautiful ladies added not just a pinch of mesmerisation, but a handful! The Tammy Taylor Mrs South Africa movement is a great pageant that aims to empower disadvantaged women and girls through various projects lead by the semi-finalists.

 

 

The horses in the other hand, fit, prideful and magnificent. Everything was beautifully falling into place that the heat of that day had no slight irritation on the anticipating crowd of guests.

Programme of the day included a variety of activities for both children and adults. A few schools from the area were invited to celebrate the day with Her Serene Highness. Demarcated areas with jumping castles, jungle gym, a farrier demonstration of a live hot-shoeing and a puppet show were set and ready to be enjoyed. Adults, on the other hand stood a chance to win a number of races set for the day and a great fancy television prize. A free television? Yes, that’s how great it was!

 

 

Upon her arrival, the children prepared themselves all dressed up in red with a little South African flag in hand. The hot Saturday air was cooled by the rotor as the helicopter slowly began its descent, and the mood began to grow jollier. As expected, Princess Charlene stepped out from the craft and made her way to the entrance. The children, along with the crowd broke into cheers and song at her sight and she came before them to offer a photograph opportunity. She then proceeded into the building.

 

 

 

Her arrival set an entirely new mood as the attendants whispered ear to ear on her every move within the premises. The children followed to greet and take pictures with Princess Charlene. The speakers began to issue announcements a few minutes later as the first race was set to commence. The crowd was encouraged to quickly make their bets in preparation for the race and they rose from their seats and did so with no hesitation.

Not forgetting the real reason for the occasion, and of course, our true fanatics of the race.

 

"The headline race on the day was the Grade 1 HSH Princess Charlene Empress Cub Stakes for fillies and mares over 1600m with total stakes of R1,000,000.

Two Maiden Plates, of which one is for fillies and mares only, with total stakes of R250,000 each and sponsored by Princess Charlene of Monaco, served as supporting acts. These maiden-led races carried huge prize money, however, having never won a race, but it has become customary in recognition of the Princess’s well-documented support for what is usually considered the underdog.”

If you missed this wonderful event, then fear not, you will catch the next one the following year. However, we cannot make any royal promises this time, but who knows? You get your best outfit ready just in case.

 

By Tebogo J. Mphatswe

 

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