Royals attend Royal Ascot & Camilla talks of Queen’s ‘encyclopaedic’ racing knowledge

Members of the Royal Family have attended the first day of this year’s Royal Ascot. We also saw a new interview with The Duchess of Cornwall, who spoke of The Queen’s passion for horse racing.

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall led the Royal Family for a day of horse racing and celebrations. The couple arrived by car rather than the traditional horse-drawn carriage procession, which has been cancelled due to Covid.

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Prince Charles and Camilla on the first day of Royal Ascot 2021.

Royal Ascot is a highlight of the British summer season and also marked the return of occasionwear for many after 18 months of Covid restrictions; lockdown prevented spectators in 2020 from attending the event.

Prince Charles and Camilla were joined by a number of fellow members of the family. The Earl and Countess of Wessex attended the event.

Princess Anne and her daughter and son-in-law, Zara and Mike Tindall were also in attendance. It marked the couple’s first public appearance since the birth of their son, Lucas.

Anne was seen wearing a mask from the Injured Jockeys Fund, of which she is patron.

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Mike and Zara Tindall arriving on the opening day of Royal Ascot.

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After the annual horse racing event, the Prince and Duchess presented jockey Kevin Manning with a trophy, after he won the St James’s Palace Stakes.

Zara Tindall was also seen in the stables area in her finery, patting one of the horses. It is unclear whose horse this was, but The Queen had a runner today, and she and husband Mike part-own a racehorse which won the Grand National in 2015.

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Also released today was The Duchess of Cornwall’s exclusive interview with ITV Racing.

The first clip saw Camilla commenting on The Queen and racing saying: “Well I think this is her passion in life and she loves it, and you can tell how much she loves it.

Tell me about … Royal Ascot

“She could tell you every horse she’s bred and owned from the very beginning – she doesn’t forget anything. I can hardly remember what I bred a year ago but she’s encyclopaedic about her knowledge.”

Camilla is also a keen horsewoman, and said of the famous fixture: “Everybody who loves racing, it is the most special week, isn’t it?”

More clips will be shown throughout the broadcaster’s Royal Ascot coverage this week.

The Queen meanwhile, who is an avid horse racing fan, is not confirmed to attend but most expect to see her at this – one of her favourites.

not will not make an appearance at this year’s Ascot due to ongoing restrictions, marking only the second time in 69 years that she hasn’t attended the event.

The Monarch, whose horse King’s Lynn was running in the King’s Stand Stakes today, is set to be watching on television from Windsor Castle.

She also received the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison this morning following the G7 Summit in Cornwall.

The Queen at Royal Ascot in 2016; it is unconfirmed if she will attend this year. Andrew Parsons / i-Images

Speaking to Radio 4 this morning, The Queen’s racing manager John Warren said: “Obviously The Queen would love to attend, as you know she’s fanatic about racing, watching racing and breeding horses, and has been going to Ascot all of her adult life. So, it’s a shame to miss an event.

“The plan at the moment is to see how it goes towards the latter part of the week and if The Queen’s able to come because she’s got runners, then, fingers crossed, it will happen.”

He commented on The Queen’s energy saying: “It’s remarkable. The Queen’s energy levels are incredible. She’s 95. She went down to the G7 this week, and trundled back on the train in the middle of the night and the energy will be raised higher again for a week like Ascot.”


However he said the experience would be different for the 95-year old monarch, adding: “In the past, she would have gone and looked at horses in the paddock, even though they weren’t hers because she is so fascinated in the breed so she’d want go and look at the stallion prospects of the future.”

Mr Warren continued: “Every race that takes place every day of the week, The Queen will certainly read the Racing Post every morning, look at the breeding of all the winners the day before, and see that these stallions that she uses will be potential horses for her own mares.

“It’s a deep fascination, a very broad escapism for all the other things that The Queen has to deal with in her life.”

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