Anorak News | When Zara Phillips met an ‘unnamed overzealous’ guard at the Cheltenham Festival

When Zara Phillips met an ‘unnamed overzealous’ guard at the Cheltenham Festival

by | 16th, March 2013

Horse Racing - 2013 Cheltenham Festival - Day Four - Cheltenham Racecourse

HOW the media works: the paper have been at the Cheltenham Festival. If Pippa Middleton is not in the stalls, the journalists turn their eyes to any other female Royal. They spot Zara Phillips.

The Telegraph’s Andrew Hough reports:

She may be the Queen’s grand-daughter but that did not stop security guards at Cheltenham Festival from blocking Zara Phillips access to the parade ring.

The Daily Mail’s Ruth Styles and Louise Eccles report:

She might be the Queen’s granddaughter, but that does not always guarantee the royal treatment. Zara Phillips was blocked from leaving the parade ring at Cheltenham yesterday by a security guard.

Bit similar, no?

Back to Hough, who writes:

“The Princess Royal’s daughter was left unimpressed by the actions of overzealous security who appeared not to recognise her on the opening day of the [Cheltenham Festival].”

The guard is revealed to be “unnamed“. He is that unimportant to the story. He is merely an “overzealous” man who can’t recognise Royalty when it’s looking him in the face. But what difference does it make if he recognises her? His job is to stop anyone from walking across the parade ground while the horse are there.

The 31 year-old, accompanied by her husband, Mike Tindall, the former England rugby captain, was prevented from crossing the parade ring after one race. Dressed in a cream coat and purple hat with a pair of feathers, the Olympic Silver medallist at last year’s London games was seen in animated discussion with the guard, who refused to budge.

She was eventually let through…

Hough then solicited the thoughts of a Cheltenham Festival spokesman:

“After each race we have a line of security guards in the middle of the parade ring, whose job it is to stop people walking from one side to the other in front of the winning and placed horses who are about to walk in. That is what happened in this case. We would support the actions of the stewards 100 per cent. He was doing his job and looking after the safety of the public, which at that point she is a member of.”


But this is how journalism works. So, one day after that, the Daily Mail writes:

Just 24 hours earlier, she was photographed having a row with a security guard, who failed to recognise her and tried to block her from crossing the parade ring while the horses passed.

No. He did recognise her. He recognised he as a member of the public. And he didn’t try to stop her from breaking the rules. He succeeded.

The Independent duly reports:

Together with her husband, the former England rugby player Mike Tindall, she could not persuade the guard to let them pass – but they were later allowed through and seemed to laugh off the incident at the chilly race meeting.

Or as the Mail says:

The guard appeared to have no idea who Miss Phillips was but, after some cross words from the royal, quickly let her pass.

Such are the facts…

Posted: 16th, March 2013 | In: Royal Family, Sports Comment | TrackBack | Permalink