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Queen Elizabeth IIState & Ceremonial

Royal Ascot begins

<![CDATA[One of Europe's most famous racing meetings got underway earlier today. Royal Ascot, which is attended by over a quarter of a million people, began with the royal procession along the racecourse.
The royal procession at Ascot
On the first day of the races, Her Majesty The Queen was joined by Prince Harry, The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of a Cornwall and the Duke of Edinburgh, accompanied by Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie.
The Queen is hoping that her young horse, Estimate, will win the Gold Cup again for the second year in a row. When The Queen won last year, she became the first ever reigning monarch to win the race.
Bookmakers were not only taking bets on the horses on Tuesday but also on what colour dress The Queen will be wearing. Punters enjoy having a bet on The Queen’s colour of dress every year and today she was wearing a blue Stewart Parvin coat at 4/1 odds.
The big race of the day today was the St James Palace Stakes which saw the Irish Guineas winner Kingman run to victory, with Night of Thunder, who triumphed in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket, finishing in second place.
Ascot Racecourse was founded back in 1711 by Queen Anne and since that time a further 11 monarchs have spent lots of time at the famous Royal race course.
The Queen attends Royal Ascot every year; alongside various other members of the Royal family who arrive each day in a horse-drawn carriage. The famous royal procession takes place at 2:00pm before the first race and includes the raising of the Royal Standard.
Photo credit: RichKnowles via photopin cc]]>