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The sporting life is the only life for London’s chic set this summer. On De Beers’ annual Diamond Day at Ascot last weekend, Nicky Oppenheimer sat trackside, rapt with binoculars in hand. The following day at Cartier’s International polo match, Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip and the Duke of York entertained American political aristos Lauren Bush, her mother, Sharon, and younger sister, Ashley, in the royal enclosure, while guests including Camilla Rutherford, Colin Firth, Joely Richardson, Kelly Preston, David Rothschild, Julien Macdonald, Princess Tamara Czartoryski and Lord Charles March mingled nearby.
“It is such a glamorous sport,” gushed Tamara Mellon, who was watching the game with husband Matthew. “We’re even planning on taking lessons.”
It was a polo-packed month. The finals of the Veuve Clicquot Gold Cup British Open championship the weekend before brought Elle Macpherson, Yasmin Le Bon, Lisa B., India Hicks, and Lord and Lady Cowdray down to West Sussex to watch the Black Bears beat Knepp Castle’s Emerging team.
But life isn’t all about ponies. Just ask Henry Dent-Brocklehurst.
“Cricket is the new polo,” said the sportsman, at a match that marked the start of the Bentley-sponsored Sudeley-to-Monte Carlo Grand Prix held at his country estate, Sudeley. “It’s quirky, and it’s not stuffy like polo. It’s much more of this millennium.”
Ben Elliot, Mark Shand, Hugh Grant, Andrew Wessels, John Standing and William Cash were among the members of the losing home team, with Grant scoring just one run, quashing all speculation that he might quit his day job. Guests like Ilaria Bulgari, Emily Oppenheimer, Nicola Formby and Julia Richards didn’t seem to mind. Still, the match failed to make a cricket fan of Zoe Appleyard.
“It’s on a par with watching the grass grow,” she said.