POLO & THE PRINCE
How Nacho Figueras became close friends with a royal
He’s really, really ridiculously goodlooking, is the most famous polo player in the world and counts Prince Harry as one of his close pals. Say hello to hot as hell Argentine, Ignacio “Nacho” Figueras, who is heading to Australia for The Star Gold Coast Magic Millions Carnival. How close are Figueras and Harry? The polo player and his glamorous wife attended Harry and Meghan’s royal wedding in May this year. “It was an amazing day and one I will always remember,” Figueras, 41, tells WHO.
The Duke of Sussex and Figueras – known globally as the face of Ralph Lauren – have been friends for years and often catch up at charity polo matches. “We met at a polo match for the Prince’s Sentebale charity in 2007, in England,” Figueras says. Harry cofounded the charity in 2006 to provide funds for children
living with HIV in Lesotho. After this year’s Sentebale Polo Cup, Figueras took to his Instagram page, posting a picture that showed him holding a trophy while photobombing a kiss between Harry and Meghan. “When you wished the trophy would turn into a violin. What an incredible love story,” he wrote.
Harry and Meghan wowed Australian fans in October, when they toured here for the Invictus Games. It was while in the country the royal couple announced they were expecting their first baby. Figueras – a father of four – paid tribute to the prince, saying, “What I respect most about him is how much he genuinely cares about making the world a better place”.
But Harry isn’t Figueras’ only royal connection. At the Pacific Fair Magic Millions Polo, on Jan. 6, he will shape up against the Queen’s granddaughter, Olympic champion Zara Tindall, who was unable to attend last year’s Magic Millions carnival. “Zara didn’t play last year because she was pregnant, so I am looking forward to matching up against her,” Figueras says.
With his chiselled good looks and athleticism, it’s no surprise Figueras is sometimes described as “the David Beckham of polo”. It’s a tag Figueras is happy to wear. “I have met David before and he’s a great guy and someone that has done so many great things for his sport,” he says. “It is an honour for me to be compared to him.”
The polo event kicks off a week of events at The Star Gold Coast Magic Millions Carnival, including The Star Gold Coast Magic Millions Raceday, on Jan. 12, which offers $10 million in prize money. The carnival is one of the biggest racing events of the year and will pump an estimated $780 million into the Queensland economy. And Figueras is one the key drawcards. Joining him on the Gold Coast is his wife of 14 years, photographer and former model Delfina Blaquier, who also plays polo (of course) and is friends with Hollywood A-lister Gwyneth Paltrow.
Figueras says it didn’t take much to convince his wife to travel to the Gold Coast with him for Magic Millions. “She said yes right away!” he laughs. “She is going to love it. We play together at home and we also played together at all these really cool events in New York and Los Angeles. I love playing with her.”
When they’re not attending royal weddings and jet-setting about the world, Figueras and Blaquier call Buenos Aires home. They live on a farm with their four children and polo ponies. The children all ride horses and play polo.
“We love staying at home,” Figueras says. “We spend a lot of time with the kids on the horses and with the animals that we have. It is our favourite time.”
“It is an honour to be compared to David Beckham”
Model couple: Nacho Figueras and his wife, Delfina Blaquier, will be in Australia for The Star Gold Coast Magic Millions. Argentina’s Figueras is considered one of the greatest polo players in the world.
Walk and talk. Figueras and Prince Harry chat, while their wives Blaquier and Meghan follow.