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Prince William and Prince Harry mourn sad loss of trailblazing polo tutor

Polo player Claire Tomlinson has passed away at the age of 77

william harry claire tomlinson© Photo: Getty Images
Danielle Stacey
Online Royal CorrespondentLondon
January 21, 2022
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Prince William and Prince Harry's trailblazing polo tutor has passed away at the age of 77, it has emerged.

Claire Tomlinson died peacefully at her home, with her children, Emma, Mark and Luke, by her side.

She was the first woman to compete against men on equal terms in the male-dominated sport and coached the English national team she once captained.

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Claire was so well regarded that the Prince of Wales asked her to teach his sons how to play polo at the Beaufort Polo Club. William and Harry have continued to be avid polo players and have competed against one another in charity matches.

Last August, Harry travelled to Aspen, Colorado to compete in the Sentebale ISPS Handa Polo Cup to raise funds for his charity, Sentebale. Meanwhile, Prince William also took part in a match in Windsor last summer.

claire tomlinson charles harry 2009© Photo: Getty Images

Claire with Charles and Harry in 2009

Claire was the first woman in the world to reach five goals in 1986, as well as the first to win the County Cup in 1972 and the Queen's Cup in 1979. She still holds the women's high-goal handicap record today.

Her children are all polo players and compete internationally. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry attended Mark Tomlinson's wedding to Laura Bechtolsheimer in the Swiss resort of Arosa in 2013.

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chelsy davy kate middleton claire tomlinson 2006© Photo: Getty Images

Chelsy, Kate and Claire pictured in 2006

And in the early years of her relationship with William, Kate was pictured chatting with Claire as she and Harry's then-girlfriend, Chelsy Davy, watched the Princes play in a polo match at the Beaufort Polo Club in 2006.

Both William and Harry have followed in their father and late grandfather Prince Philip's footsteps by playing polo.

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