Today sees the start of Royal Ascot and as usual we look forward to the stunning millinery creations, the bold style choices on Ladies Day and of course placing a winning bet. Ascot runs for four days as usual, with some 300,000 attending in total. The Queen and other members of the royal family will be in attendance, no doubt with fingers crossed for the Queen’s horse Carlton House to win his race. This year of course is Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee and Royal Ascot is the very essence of long-held tradition in Britain.
Roots of Royal Ascot Races
Modern-day horseracing enthusiasts can thank Queen Anne for her foresight. In 1711, she envisioned the ideal spot near Windsor Castle. The first race was entitled Her Majesty’s Plate. The Queen Anne Stakes are held each year to commemorate her. The Gold Cup Race began in 1807 and is held on the third day of racing each year, bringing in large crowds for what has been dubbed ‘Ladies’ Day.’ Queen Elizabeth has a healthy involvement in the races today with choice royal horses doing their part as well.
What to Expect At Royal Ascot This Year
Each day, visitors can expect something different at the Ascot. However, there is always pomp and circumstance at this peak social event. The stakes are high with over 4 million pounds in winnings will be given out and many competitors vying for the different trophies such as the Gold Cup, the Royal Hunt Cup and the Queen’s Vase. A Royal Procession opens the day from the Golden Gates with races beginning at 2:30 PM and ending at 5:35 PM.
Day one begins with the Royal Meeting. The Queen Anne’s Stakes are held on opening day as well as the King’s Stand Stakes. The St James’s Palace Stakes round out the day. Day two boasts of the Prince of Wales’s Stakes. One can’t forget the Windsor Forest Stakes or the Queen Mary Stakes. On the third day, fans will see high fashion at its best during Ladies Day, while the Gold Cup carries on. The Tercentenary Stakes are held as well, marking 300 years of racing. The Coronation Stakes are held on the next day and the Golden Jubilee Stakes complete the Royal Ascot with great fanfare.
By Julie Bowman