HRH is helping to restore a historic boat in her late father’s name… and it’s all to empower women around the world.
When it set sail in 1990, few believed an all-woman crew could complete a round-the-world-race.
They were wrong.
And now, 27 years later, the iconic Maiden boat, which made history when it competed in the Whitbread Round the World Race with the competition’s first female team, will traverse the seas again.
What’s more, it’s all been made possible with the help of HRH Princess Haya bint Al Hussein.
The royal has offered her support to return the vessel back to its native UK, following in the footsteps of her late father, King Hussein.
“I am honoured to be involved in the resurrection of the historic vessel Maiden, something my late father HM King Hussein I championed all those years ago,” Princess Haya wrote on Instagram.
كلي فخر أن أشارك اليوم في إعادة إحياء سفينة مايدن، وهو أمرٌ لطالما رغبت ووالدي جلالة الملك الراحل الحسين بالقيام به كل تلك السنوات. أقوم بذلك لأنني أؤمن بأن ذاكرة والدي والقضايا التي آمن بها ستحيا في هذه المغامرة البحرية الملحمية مرة أخرى. وللأسف كان وجود طاقم مكون من الإناث فقط في الثمانينات أمرًا مفاجئًا للكثيرين، ولكن هذا الفريق بقيادة تريسي إدواردز قد أثبت للعالم، وأقول ذلك بكلمات والدي، بأن “كل شيء ممكن”. أتمنى منكم جميعًا المشاركة والانضمام إلينا في رحلة تستمر لثلاثة أعوام نجوب فيها العالم دفاعًا عن حق التعليم للجميع ذكورًا أو إناثًا؛ وهو أمر أكثر أهمية اليوم من أي وقت مضى. #كل_شيء_ممكن Today I am honored to be involved in the resurrection of the historic vessel ‘Maiden’ something my late father HM King Hussein I championed all those years ago. As his daughter I do so in the knowledge that his memory and issues he cared so much for will live on in this epic maritime adventure once again. Sadly, in its day back in the 80’s having an all-female crew was something of a surprise to many, but the team led by the intrepid Tracy Edwards MBE showed the world, in my late father’s words that ‘anything is possible’ I urge you all to share and join us on the three-year journey around the world to fight for access to education whatever your gender; something that is more relevant today than ever before. #anythingispossible @maidenfactor
“As his daughter I do so in the knowledge that his memory and issues he cared so much for will live on in this epic maritime adventure once again.”
The boat, led by skipper Tracy Edwards, claimed second place overall in 1990’s Whitbread race after winning an impressive two legs – the best result for a British boat since 1977.
“Sadly, in its day back in the 80s, having an all-female crew was something of a surprise to many, but the team led by the intrepid Tracy Edwards MBE showed the world, in my late father’s words that n‘anything is possible’,” said Princess Haya.
The vessel will now be restored in the UK over a year, before setting sail once more on a campaign called The Maiden Factor.
The aim? To spread the message that every girl has potential and the right to an education.
“My father, King Hussein I, would have been the first to offer his support and guidance to the new Maiden Project announced this week,” said HRH.
“I, as a young girl, fondly remember his ‘hands-on’ involvement with the original project which made sporting history, and surprisingly feel how the issues of female equality and values he championed all those years ago seem even more relevant today.
“Having the intrepid Tracy Edwards MBE back at the helm is something I know my father would have been so happy to learn and he would have wanted me to be part of this project.”
As Edwards notes, more than 61 million girls around the world are still denied access to education, a troubling statistic that needs to be addressed.
“The crew of Maiden faced many obstacles and prejudices. Very few people believed an all-female crew could complete the race and not only did we prove everyone wrong, we won two legs and came second overall,” said Edwards.
“Now we would like to do the same for women around the world, who are being denied an education and the opportunity to reach their full potential.”
Image: HRH Princess Haya/Instagram