It is with great sadness that we have learnt of the death of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh. We extend our deepest sympathies to Her Majesty The Queen and all members of the Royal Family.
His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh was the Ranger of the Great Park for nearly 70 years and during this time his impact on one of the most recognised landscapes in the world has been immense. He has provided guidance and insight to our team to help them manage the Great Park and the wider estate, from the farms to the wildlife to the ancient woodlands, ensuring it can continue to offer a rich sanctuary for all, for generations to come. We will miss him greatly and there is no doubt that his influence will continue to be seen in our work across the Great Park.
His Royal Highness’s commitment to protecting the Great Park for the long-term can be best summed up in his own words: “The management of land is a very long-term business and the best results can only be achieved if there is confidence and continuity. We are enjoying the gardens and avenues and amenities planted by previous generations and it is because I feel myself to be a temporary custodian that I am planting for future generations.”
A progressive independent commercial business, created by Act of Parliament. Our portfolio includes the whole of Regent Street and much of St James’s in London’s West End, prime regional shopping centres, Windsor Great Park, rural land and coastline, and the UK’s seabed.
Home to Guard’s Polo Club, Smith’s Lawn is best known for the prestigious polo events held here throughout the year, including the Queen’s Cup and the Cartier International Day.
Smith’s Lawn lies alongside one of the main cycling and riding routes around the Great Park. The horse track runs directly past the Prince Consort statue, which depicts Prince Albert in military uniform on horseback and is set back against the treeline. It was erected in 1887 as a gift to Queen Victoria from the Women of the British Empire.
Formed in 1955, Guard’s Polo Club is the largest in Europe, and Smith’s Lawn is a fantastic place to experience this exciting and fast-paced game. From March to September the polo lawns are an area of regular activity, with preparations for the upcoming season and matches being played across the various pitches. If you would like to combine a visit to the Park with watching a match at this regal sporting ground, please visit the Guard’s Polo website for a match schedule.
Smith’s Lawn has a varied history and was once even used as an airfield. In fact it was here that the Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII) learnt to fly, and during World War II it was used as a take-off strip for various small military aircraft.
If you walk across the lawns and through Cumberland Gate, towards Cow Pond and the Deer Park, you will find Cumberland Lodge - a magnificent 17th Century building. In 1947 King George VI signed a Royal Warrant, granting the use of the Lodge for discussions aimed at the betterment of society, and today it still serves this purpose as an educational charity and conference centre.
In addition to hosting organisations such as universities and the National Health Service, the Lodge also organises its own major conference programme, hosting debates on issues of national and international significance.
Whether you're a keen horticulturist looking for inspiration, a dog owner who wants an unrivalled variety of short and longer walks, or a family looking for a place to enjoy nature and history there is a membership type to suit you.