As Prince Harry and Prince William prepare to saddle up for a number of charity polo matches this season, the brothers’ pal and fellow polo player Ignacio "Nacho" Figueras – who you may also recognize as the face of Ralph Lauren's Polo brand – told HELLO! what it’s really like playing with the royals.
“They love the sport of polo so it’s always fun to be around them,” the 39-year-old told HELLO! on Saturday at the 9th annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic held at Liberty State Park. “It’s always fun to help them and an honor to help them raise money, which is what they use polo for, for charities, so it’s a wonderful thing.”
Nacho told us that because William and Harry love the sport so much, 'It's always fun to be around them' Photo: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Veuve Clicquot
Nacho, who is ranked as one of the top 100 polo players in the world, told us that the two brothers are both great at the sport and share a love for the horses they ride. He explained, “Their grandmother [Queen Elizabeth] is a big fan of horses and very passionate. Their grandfather played, their father played, they both play. They’re great riders.”
Princes Harry and William are both fans of the sport Photo: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images
Prior to Saturday's star-studded match, the Argentinean athlete took part in the Sentebale Royal Salute Polo Cup with Prince Harry in May ahead of the 2016 Invictus Games.
Nacho is an ambassador for the Sentebale charity, which helps children in need in Lesotho and Botswana. "We’re moving along to more countries in Africa, so it’s an honor," he explained. "It’s something I’m very proud of. I’ve been to Lesotho twice and I love it. It’s a wonderful thing to be able to use the sport that you love as a platform to help kids that really need it.”
Nacho participated in Harry's 2016 Sentebale Royal Salute Polo Cup Photo: Alexander Tamargo/WireImage
Perhaps one of the most surprising things about Nacho is that he has also taken the sport he loves onto the pages of his new romance book series, The Polo Season. He penned the books to give readers an “inside view of what being a polo player is [like].”
“People don’t know enough about the sport of polo,” he said. “Behind it there is so much work, so much time that we spend in the barn with the grooms and in the farms with the breeding, with the blacksmiths – so the novel kind of tells all that story."
The world famous athlete has launched a steamy polo romance series Photo: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for Veuve Clicquot
The dad-of-four added, “[It’s] the ins and the outs from my perspective, with a story to make it appealing – and with a little bit of steaminess to make it fun – so I’m very excited. I think that this will bring polo to more homes, and hopefully that will create more players and more fans and more spectators."
As for whether the romance novelist has given his single friend and eligible bachelor, Prince Harry any dating advice the renowned polo player chuckled, “That is something that you have to ask him!”