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 truly 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.
The Royals were out in force for this year’s Ascot, which took place from Tuesday 20 June until Saturday 24 June. The Duchess of Cambridge, made her second appearance at the racetrack since becoming a royal, joining The Queen on the first day.
The Queen rode in the first carriage along with Prince Philip, Prince Andrew and Lord Vestey. Price Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall rode in the second carriage, along with Andrew’s daughters Princess Beatrix and Princess Eugenie.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Kate, rode in the third carriage with Prince Edward and the Countess of Wessex. Hilarity ensued when the countess lost her balance and nearly fell out of the carriage while taking her seat, before being saved from despair by the Duchess. The mishap was taken in good spirits, and the group were seen laughing and joking together.
The forth carriage was headed by Peter and Autumn Phillips. Princess Anne and Mike and Zara Tindall were also observed at the Ascot, though they didn’t ride in the procession. They were seen conversing around the racecourse.
After the royal procession at 2:10pm on the opening day of the Ascot, members of The Royal Family and spectators in the stands observed a minutes silence for events that have recently shaken England. The royals then took their place in the royal box to enjoy the day’s races.
The Duchess of Cambridge wore a stunning white lace Alexander McQueen dress, with modesty and grace offered by long sleeves and a high neck.
As far as the Royal Ascot results go, Jockey James Doyle rode his horse Big Orange to victory in the prestigious Gold Cup event on the Thursday. He was a pretty fair option pre-race, with around 5/1 odds to win. It was The Tin Man and jockey Tom Queally that took the Diamond Jubilee event on the closing day.
On opening day Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge awarded the King’s Stand Stakes trophy to USA jockey Frankie Dettori and his horse Lady Aurelia.
Royal Ascot is always a proud moment in which the people and the royals come together to enjoy one of Britain’s favourite sporting events.