Prince Harry was in high spirits after playing a polo match with his close friend Nacho Figueras, while Meghan Markle proudly watched on, in Montecito this weekend.
The Duke of Sussex, 37, was in his element as he played a friendly game of polo with his old friend Nacho on Saturday at Santa Barbara Polo and Racquet Club for the annual Harry East Memorial Tournament.
Meanwhile the Duchess was spotted watching the event alongside Nacho’s wife Delphine, and her close friend Markus Anderson.
Nacho, who has been described by Tatler as the ‘David Beckham of polo’ and ‘one of the most recognisable players in the world, went on to share a snap alongside Prince Harry on Instagram.
In the snap, the Duke, who grew up playing the game with his older brother Prince William, 39, beamed as he posed alongside Nacho and two other players.
Meanwhile the Argentinian appeared to playfully stick his tongue out in Prince Harry’s direction.
The duo were dressed in matching polo outfits for the outing, including a smart green top and white jodphurs.
Sharing the picture, which was taken by his daughter Aurora, Nacho wrote: ‘‘Thrilled to be riding alongside my friend, Prince Harry.
We’ve ridden together many times over the years and now we’re both parents, it’s extra special to be able to spend this time together.’
The Duchess was spotted watching on while the men played, wearing a smart white blazer and a black mini skirt.
Meanwhile she donned a pair of large black sunglasses to shield her eyes from the bright Californian weather.
Meghan was snapped alongside Markus, 41, whom she has been close friends with for a number of years.
Mr Anderson – a former waiter –has known the Duchess of Sussex since before her relationship with Prince Harry.
A global consultant for the Soho House private members’ clubs group, he arranged for Meghan and Harry to meet secretly at the company’s properties in Toronto, London and Somerset during their courtship.
Dubbed the ‘King of Soho House’, Anderson’s long list of high-profile friends includes Fifty Shades Of Grey actor Jamie Dornan, TV host Cat Deeley and model Alexa Chung.
As the world learned Meghan and Harry were dating, Markus joined the Duchess at the Invictus Games in Toronto in 2017.
It later emerged he had personally recommended powerful political PR ‘guru’ Sara Latham as Meghan and Harry’s £140,000-a-year communications chief.
The club where the group came together is not far from Montecito, where Harry and his wife Meghan live with their two children, Archie, who turns three on Friday, and Lilibet, who is ten months old.
Nacho, who has been described by Tatler as the ‘David Beckham of polo’ and ‘one of the most recognisable players in the world, has actively spoken out to defend Harry and Meghan over the years.
The father-of-four attended the Sussex wedding and has played polo alongside Harry in various polo matches.
He is an ambassador for Sentebale, an organisation founded by the prince which is dedicated to helping children and young people who or whose families suffer with HIV and Aids in Lesotho, South Africa.
He appeared on Ellen’s show in September 2019 to announce that he would ‘defend his friends’ with his life.
During the interview he also described Meghan as ‘incredible’, and revealed how she ‘gave up everything for the man she loves’.
Last year he launched a selection of six fragrances, including one named ‘Windsor’, which hinted at a ‘brotherhood of kindred spirits’ with the Duke.
Argentinian Ignacio Figueras (known as Nacho) may be one of the top polo players in the world, but he has earned a few other credentials to his name, from fashion model to philanthropist and is a close friend of the British Royals.
The professional polo player, who holds a 6-goal handicap and an estimated net worth of $30 million, has been modeling for Ralph Lauren since 2000.
But modeling was never the goal for the athlete, who began his career just to earn some extra cash and bring more attention to his beloved sport. It all took off when he was approached by photographer Bruce Weber at a party in The Hamptons hosted by Calvin Klein’s ex-wife Kelly, who encouraged him to get his start in modeling.
While that avenue of his career has introduced his objectively handsome face into everyday homes via glossy fashion magazines and television commercials, the game of polo has always been his true passion.
Born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina, he started playing the game at the ripe age of 9 years old after his father introduced him to the sport. He became a professional polo player by the time he was just 17. After a stint in Europe, he ended up at the White Birch Polo Team based in Bridgehampton, New York.
But Nacho’s love for both polo and investing in charity work is what ultimately led him to his most famous relationship.
He and Prince Harry share some common interests, one of them being, of course, polo.
The pair have been playing alongside each other in charity matches for the past decade, ultimately moving them to becoming close friends.
Both Prince Harry and Nacho regularly play in Sentebale’s charity matches to raise funds for Sentebale, an organization co-founded by Prince Harry that supports children and young people affected by HIV in southern Africa.
Nacho shared that he even met the newest member of the Royal family in London ahead of the match, Prince Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, if that is any indication of how close the two are.
Along with forming a special friendship with Prince Harry, the game of polo also brought him to his wife Delfina Blaquier, the daughter of an Argentinian polo player.
The pair first met, fittingly, at a polo match in Buenos Aires in 1997. They started dating in early 1998 and welcomed their first son in 2000, and wed in December 2005.
The couple now has four children together: Hilario; Aurora; Artemo; and Alba.