Royal Oak: How We Made a Wooden Bellyboard for HRH Prince Charles
19 . 07 . 18
Surfing is often referred to as “The Sport of Kings” thanks to its ancient history as the preferred pastime of Hawaiian kings and queens, but it is not only the Hawaiian royalty and nobility who enjoyed riding waves – our very own British Royal Family have been known to also.
Great Britain, the Hawaiian Islands, and their Royal Families have had a long and interesting relationship through the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. The Sandwich Islands, as they were first called, developed and preferred strong links with Britain to their American neighbours, and briefly became a British protectorate (for less than a year) after a war scare with France in 1843 – hence the Hawaiian flag featuring a Union Jack in the top left corner. It was only the demise of the Hawaiian monarchy in 1893 that saw relations with Great Britain fade in favour of America, but until then many Hawaiian royals travelled to Britain for their education (the first record of surfing in England was a pair of Hawaiian princes who were at school here in 1890), and members of the British royal family frequently visited Hawaii.