“The King’s Cup - capturing the essence

photography competition

The King’s Cup at Henley Royal Regatta 2019 honoured the past as it commemorated 100 years since 1919 Royal Henley Peace Regatta. In 2019 eight allies fittest and finest produced some extraordinary racing against a backdrop of military and Henley Royal Regatta pageantry.  

To fully record the occasion a photographic competition is being held, inviting contributions from all photographers including military and amateurs alike. Send us that brilliant iPhone shot!

To enter, simply submit your entry via email to photocomp@kingscup.org by the 30th September 2019, outlining which of the categories below you wish to enter into. Entry is free, and there is no limit to the number of submissions you can enter. Please include a brief description and background for each entry.

Further details below…


Six categories will be awarded plus a grand prize for the best photograph. There are over £2500 of liquid prizes and a gold medal for the grand prize and feature in The Henley Standard: winners will be included in The King’s Cup photo book, and displays are planned at national military museums, Vice Regal receptions and a leading advertising agency.

There is no time constraint so the photo could have been taken last year or next Tuesday but it does have to relate to The King’s Cup.

Group shot

Character shot to include ‘history in the making’ recreations. For example, the crew at rest, a crew briefing, support team or supporters.

Individual character shot

Here, your image will capture the essence of an athlete or individual, either before, during, or after the event. It could be the Chief of Defence or the cox, athlete or an administrator.

The King’s Cup

The shot that best encapsulates the event, Henley Royal Regatta, the course, the crowds, the Englishness of it all

From home waters

An image that best articulates from where we come, those who were left behind, our preparation, day job or return.

Our national gift

The King’s Cup itself incorporates valuable symbolic gifts from each nation: brass from the USS Constitution, the Gorch Foch, the Royal Mausoleum, the Australian War Memorial, Croix de Guerre, the Netherland’s King’s coronation, the first Canadian Parliament and the New Zealand Army VIII. Do you have an image that sums up one or more of these gifts?


Imagination is your only constraint with a connection to The King's Cup.

The judging panel will be convened by M&C Saatchi and the Chairman of The King’s Cup mid October, announced on The King’s Cup social media channels and winners will be notified by email.

A condition of entry is an agreement to a non exclusive enduring licence for The King’s Cup Committee to use, print and display the images supplied.

The stunning image above? Shot by SAC Amy Lupton it won the RAF Sports Photograph of the Year 2018…beat that


A MESSAGE FROM Her Excellency Janice Charette, Canadian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom.


German Navy to take over from the Luftwaffe

Deep inside the stunning German Embassy in London, we think this is the moment Defence Attaché Ralf Raddatz explained to the Ambassador how The King’s Cup will be brought back to Berlin when the Bundeswehr Achter are successful in July.

By air we presume judging from the colour of the uniforms present.  

It was a warm reception from German Ambassador Dr Peter Wittig in elegant surroundings for the presentation of The King’s Cup competitor badges to the German crew. 

Following on from earlier visits to Berlin, The King’s Cup Chairman Chris Hartley said “We are really looking forward to welcoming the German crew in July – there has been no better reception for the idea of a military race at Henley Royal Regatta, as part of the 100 year commemorations of the Royal Henley Peace Regatta, than from the German military. The men and women of the Bundeswehr may be soldiers first but they are also formidable athletes.”

To the left of the photograph below is Naval Attaché Matthias Schmidt who takes over as the primary point of contact in the London Embassy for The Kings Cup from Air Attaché Hermann Hanke to the right in the photo. 

From somewhere to the left in the crowd came the comment “This is business as usual – the Navy often has to finish something the Airforce has started.”



The Chief of Defence Force comments from New Zealand 

The New Zealand Defence Force is proud to be competing in The King’s Cup Centenary – an event which is, as it was in 1919, so much more than just a race. 

This historic event brings together the six nations who competed in 1919 – New Zealand, Australia, the UK, the USA, Canada and France – as troops waited to return to their home countries after World War 1. It was a celebration of survival and of camaraderie; our troops had seen the horrors of war, and survived, a number with injuries or illness, and the chance to row the Henley course gave them a positive focus after all they had endured. It provided an early chance to start putting their war experiences aside and to return to their pre-war lives. 

One hundred years on, Germany and The Netherlands will join the original nations in this amateur athlete event which will honour the past, cement the relationships and alliances of today, and build towards the future of our nations, both militarily and wider. 

Crews in 1919 were all male but the centenary event will be raced by mixed-gender crews – the first time men and women have raced in the same boat at an elite, international event. This mixed gender format is being embraced by New Zealand, and reflects the aim of the NZDF to achieve gender balance across the force. 

Rowing, and in particular, this event, also reflects the value the NZDF places on the attributes of leadership and fitness; the nature of our many and varied roles across the NZDF attracts people who value and constantly display these attributes. Sport is a huge part of our culture in the NZDF, promoting teamwork, attention to detail, elevated levels of fitness and physical wellbeing, as well as building and restoring mental health resilience. 

I wish all eight nations participating all the very best – row hard! 

Air Marshal Kevin Short
Chief of Defence Force, New Zealand Defence Force



The 1914 Henley Royal Regatta had been staged one month before the outbreak of the First World War. No Regattas were held during the war and by the time it finished, two hundred and fifty of the 1914 competitors had lost their lives.


On the 23rd of November 1918, just twelve days after the signing of the Armistice a letter appears in The Field urging the revival of Henley Royal Regatta. An editorial note underneath the letter stated: 

”We have received several communications on this subject, and shall have something to say about it shortly.”


On January 22nd 1919 the Committee of Leander Club convened a meeting on Temple Island for all Clubs affiliated with the Amateur Rowing Club and Regatta Officials. It was widely attended and a motion carried unanimously:

 “That in the opinion of this Meeting although it is not desirable that Henley Royal Regatta be held in 1919, an interim Regatta should be held in 1919 at Henley in June or July, and that the Stewards of Henley Royal Regatta be requested to undertake the management of such Regatta.”

On February 10th 1919 at a General Meeting of the Stewards, the resolutions of the 22nd of January were considered and it was agreed to organise an interim Regatta. Royal Henley Peace Regatta was born.

Much had changed during the War and there was an enormous amount of work to be done and the next meeting took place on the 26th of February. The Committee was to meet twelve more times before the end of June. By the time the Regatta eventuated it would have become a four day event and even then it involved two rounds of sculling raced on one day.  


On the 23rd January 2019 Henley Royal Regatta announced The Return of the King’s Cup: 

“We are delighted to inform Members that the 2019 Henley Royal Regatta will feature an extra event in commemoration of the centenary of the 1919 Royal Henley Peace Regatta.

For the first time, male and female military athletes will row in the same boat at an elite international event. The King’s Cup will see crews from the original six nations of Australia, Canada, France, New Zealand, the UK and the USA, joined by Germany and the Netherlands, competing in a knock-out format over the final three days of the 2019 Henley Royal Regatta.”