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Two Queens in a carriage: The Dutch King & Queen are Her Majesty’s special guests at Royal Ascot

The lack of sunshine didn’t stop the smiles. As day one of Royal Ascot 2019 got underway, the royal procession was led by the Queen who was joined by King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands for the start of the famous meeting.

Queen Elizabeth II hosted the Dutch King and Queen at the racecourse as her special guests.

Their Majesties all travelled together in the carriage procession, with Queen Maxima sitting next to 93-year-old Elizabeth.

King Willem-Alexander was seated next to the Duke of York in the carriage procession before all four headed up to the royal box alongside other members of The Royal Family.

The Dutch royals are in the UK as guests of The Queen. On Monday, Her Majesty appointed King Willem-Alexander as Supernumerary Knight to the Order of the Garter.

Also being made a Supernumerary Knight on Monday was King Felipe of Spain.

You can read more about the appointment of King Willem-Alexander and King Felipe to the Order of the Garter by clicking here.

Royal Ascot’s very history is tied in with royalty. The event was first opened by Queen Anne in 1711, and is now attended every year by Queen Elizabeth II and other members of the Royal Family.

It’s one of the most important dates on the calendar for any fan of horseracing, fashion and royalty. Spectators enjoy the style and theatre of the show as much as the racing, and the rich history of the event gives a sense of true British culture.

Each race day begins with the royal procession, a horse-drawn ceremony in which members of the Royal Family process along the lap and through the Parade Ring before taking their place in the Royal Enclosure.

She is joined by different members of her family each day in the carriage procession, as well as friends and members of staff.

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