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The lack of sunshine didn’t stop the smiles. As day one of Royal Ascot 2019 got under way, 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. And despite the drizzle and cloudy skies, the royal party seemed to be enjoying every second of Royal Ascot.

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The traditional procession was made in open carriages despite the intermittent rain. The Duke of York accompanied his mother and the Dutch king and queen in the first open landau.

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The second carriage saw the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall joined by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

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The third carriage included the Earl and Countess of Wessex as well as the Princess Royal. They were joined by the Lord de Mauley who is Master of the Horse.

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The final carriage in the procession brought Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie to the Royal Enclosure.

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Inside the Royal Enclosure, other members of the family were waiting to join the party with Zara and Mike Tindall among the first to greet the Queen as she stepped out of her carriage.

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The summer meeting at Ascot has been a royal event since 1911, two hundred years after Queen Anne established the course.

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This year’s meeting runs for five days, until Saturday June 22nd 2019, and the Queen is expected to attend throughout the event.

About author

Lydia Starbuck is Associate Editor at Royal Central and the main producer and presenter of the Royal Central Podcast and Royal Central Extra. Lydia is also a pen name of June Woolerton, a journalist and writer with over twenty years experience in TV, radio, print and online. June has been a reporter, producer and editor, picking up several awards over the years. She's appeared on outlets including BBC 5 Live, BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Local Radio and has also helped set up a commercial radio station. June is also an accomplished writer with a wide range of material published online and in print. She is the author of two novels, published as e-books. She is also a marriage registrar and ceremony celebrant.