|Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup|
|Venue||Henley Royal Regatta, River Thames|
|Dates||1946 – present|
The event was instituted in 1946 for public schools in the United Kingdom. It was opened to entries from overseas in 1964, and that year Washington-Lee High School (United States) became the first overseas crew to win the event, beating Groton School, USA, in an all-American final.
The inauguration of this race coincided with future queen Princess Elizabeth's first visit to the regatta, and so permission was given to name the trophy "The Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup".
The PE (as it is usually abbreviated) is one of only a few races in the regatta which does not allow composite crews to be entered, and as such each race is a straight competition between one club and another. As the most prestigious race of the school rowing year, the event attracts strong competition both from the UK and abroad. For British crews, winning the PE can be the final victory needed to win “the triple", a prestigious achievement which comprises winning the Schools' Head of the River Race, The National Schools Regatta and finally the Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup, all in the same year. The "triple" was first achieved in 1978 by Eton College who have subsequently achieved it a further six times (1990, 1991, 1995, 2005, 2009 and 2010). Other winners of the triple are St. Edward's School in 1984, Hampton School in 1985, 1986 and 1988, Abingdon School in 2002 and 2012, and St Paul's School (London) in 2018. Both St Pauls and Eton have also achieved a so-called "quadruple" by additionally winning the Youth Eights at the Head of the Charles Regatta; Eton in both 2008/09 and 2009/10 and St Paul's in 2017/18.
Of British entries, Eton College have won the PE a total of 15 times, St Paul's School (London) 7 times, St. Edward's School 5 times, and Abingdon School, Bedford School, Hampton School, Pangbourne College and Shrewsbury School have each won the event 4 times.
Radley College are the most frequent losing finalists having done so on 7 occasions, followed by Eton College and St Paul's School on 6 occasions. Hampton School and St. Edward's School have been the losing finalists on 4 occasions. Westminster School, The King's School Canterbury and Oundle School share the record for the most losses (4) in finals without having ever won the event.
The PE was opened to international crews in 1964, since when American crews have won the event 14 times (and been losing finalists 19 times), Canadian crews 7 times (losing finalists 3 times), and Australian crews 3 times (losing finalists twice). Ridley College (Canada) remain the most successful North American school in the event having won the PE 5 times in the 1970's. Holy Spirit High School, USA and St.Paul's School, Concord, USA have both won the event 3 times, St.Paul's School, Concord, USA also having been losing finalists on 4 occasions. The Australian school to have won the event most recently was Scotch College, Melbourne in 2017.
At the 2023 regatta, the rules for the PE were changed to allow junior crews from clubs as well as schools to enter the event.
See table below.
The record holder for the event is St Paul's School (London), having finished the course in 6 minutes 06 seconds in the final against Eton College in 2018. They beat the previous record for the event by 11 seconds, held by Abingdon School.
The course record times for the event are:
- 1:46 to the Barrier (St. Paul's School 2018)
- 2:58 to Fawley (St. Paul's School 2018)
- 6:06 to the Finish (St. Paul's School 2018)
- "Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup". Henley Royal Regatta. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
- "Results of Final Races - 1946-2003". Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 18 July 2007.
- "Henley Royal Regatta Junior Events".
- "2020 REGATTA CANCELLATION - STATEMENT ON CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)". Henley Royal Regatta.
- "Results 2021". Henley Royal Regatta. Retrieved 21 October 2021.
- "Results 2022". Henley Royal Regatta. Retrieved 3 July 2022.