Rome, Italy – May 28, 2021 – She walked through the Villa Borghese enjoying the mix of nature, art and culture in Rome’s green heart. When the time came she was also extremely attentive to the round jumped by one of her most valuable horses, Dalida Van de Zuuthoeve, in this afternoon’s Land Rover Prize. Her name is Princess Sheikha Fatima Bint Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, instantly a perfect fit with the sophistication of Piazza di Siena. Sheikha Fatima is the granddaughter of Zayed bint Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding father of the United Arab Emirates and between 1971 until his death in 2004 also the country’s president.
An artist and a patron she works full time promoting culture and sport in her country, especially for women as president of the Abu Dhabi and Al Al-Ain Ladies Club. Her passion for horses resulted in her founding the greatly respected Al Shira’aa stables and to arrive here yesterday to attend one of the most famous equestrian shows in the world. As said about all sports, she has made equestrian sports yet another symbol of her country’s history and its values: “My fondest memories are of sitting on my grandfather’s lap and listening to his stories,” said the Princess recently in a long interview with Vogue Arabia, a magazine that had her on the cover. “These were stories of battles, stories about those who dared, who dreamt of changing reality. I grew up with love for the United Arab Emirates.”
Wearing a white sweatshirt embellished by an elegant broach and black leggings, with her natural elegance shown in her gestures and behaviour even more than her outfit, Sheikha Fatima is the worthy heir to a tradition that in the course of the centuries has seen royalty and aristocrats from all over the world visit Piazza di Siena. There was for example the hyper-photographed appearances of Grace Kelly, Princess of Monaco, who in 1957 arrived here with Prince Ranieri; or Elisabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh who were welcomed by the President of the Italian Republic Gronchi. Reports of the times say that the queen wore a pale blue dress and a matching straw hat. During those same years the presence of the Princes Colonna, members of the ancient Roman aristocracy, was normal. Going further back in time the horse show was a yearly event attended by King Vittorio Emanuele II, often accompanied by the whole royal family.
Source: Press Release from Piazza di Siena
Photo: © Piazza di Siena / CONI / Simone Ferraro