Yesterday was the beginning of Royal Ascot 2016 after The Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebrations. Her Majesty and her husband, Prince Philip, attended the first day the race meeting along with other members of the Royal Family, including Prince Harry.
The rain dampened the grounds during the night but the sun made a slight appearance just in time for the Royal party and traditional carriage procession upon their arrival.
The Queen – dressed in sunny yellow – and Prince Philip travelled in four horse-drawn carriages, sharing the ride with Prince Harry and Prince Andrew. Each day of Ascot, The Queen chooses different members of her family to join her in the carriage.
Following in the other carriages were Prince Charles, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Princess Beatrice, The Princess Royal, The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, The Duke and Duchess of Argyll, and Viscount and Viscountess Petersham. They were all guests in the Royal box, where dress code is the most strict, with hats for both men and women being compulsory.
Also joining The Queen was Princess Anne, and Prince Edward and wife Sophie.
Royal Ascot is one of the most prestigious racing venues but also famed for amazing milliners that produce unique designs for the race goers. Being part of this event – particularly in the Royal Box – is a highlight of the British social calendar.
Horse racing is a passion of the Royal Family; The Queen, who has had a special interest in horses since childhood, wrote a welcome letter in the official program:
“I have been deeply touched by the kind birthday wishes I have received this year and to have this milestone commemorated in the title of Royal Ascot’s centrepiece race, The Gold Cup.
“Of my many memories, visits to Royal Ascot with my family are amongst the most cherished. I first attended racing at Ascot in 1945, when I was just nineteen.
“Throughout my life I have seen the quality of sport at Royal Ascot increase significantly and I would like to thank the owners and trainers who bring the best horses in the world to compete here. I wish all of you good fortune. To all those who breed, own, train, ride and look after horses, and to all this week’s visitors from home and further afield, may I offer a very warm welcome to Royal Ascot.
The winners for the first meet at Royal Ascot were
- 2:30 – Queen Anne Stakes: Tepin 11-2
- 3:05 – Coventry Stakes: Caravaggio 13-8 (FAV)
- 3:40 – King’s Stand Stakes: Profitable 4-1
- 4:20 – St James’s Palace Stakes: Galileo Gold 6-1
- 5:00 – Ascot Stakes: Jennies Jewel 6-1
- 5:30 – Windsor Castle Stakes: Ardad 20-1