King to follow Queen as patron of yacht club

KING Charles is to follow in his mother’s footsteps as patron of a Bangor yacht club.

The Royal Ulster Yacht Club was one of only four yacht clubs in the British Isles to have enjoyed the patronage of the late Queen Elizabeth, and members had been waiting to hear if King Charles would continue as a patron.

After the death of Queen Elizabeth a review took place into her near 1,000 royal patronages amid an expectation that the new King may slim down the number.

However, King Charles has taken on an additional 200 royal patronages in addition to many of his mother’s, including Royal Ulster Yacht Club (RUYC) which Queen Elizabeth visited twice with Prince Philip.

Mr Ed Wheeler, past Vice Commodore of the club, said there are many yacht clubs, including five on the island of Ireland, which have a royal warrant which allows the use of the prefix ‘Royal’ along with various other privileges on things like flags which date back to the quasi-naval origins of older yacht clubs.

“However, the personal connection of having the King as patron is a particular honor and is much rarer,” he said.

“This honour comes at an appropriate time for the club,” he continued. “It will be hosting the prestigious Bangor Regatta, a biennial event, in June and in October will present the Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy to whichever club emerges as the challenger in the qualification series for the America’s Cup. 

“RUYC’s connection with the America’s Cup goes back to Lipton’s five challenges from 1899 to 1930, all under the burgee of the Bangor club. Lipton was encouraged to challenge for this premier yachting prize by his friend the then Prince of Wales, subsequently King Edward VII.

“Despite this friendship, Lipton was unable to gain membership of the Royal Yacht Squadron and reverted to his family’s Ulster roots in challenging under the auspices of RUYC. 

“Royal Ulster’s position in the incomparable sailing waters at the mouth of Belfast Lough and its magnificent clubhouse have long made Bangor a preferred location for major yachting events,” he added.