Royal Ascot began on Tuesday 16th June though it was a very different occasion to what we are used to as Her Majesty The Queen was not in attendance for the first time in her 68 year reign. The 2020 event will still go ahead but it will be privately with no crowds, no trophy presentations and, of course, no royal carriage processions.
Her Majesty The Queen has, as normal, written the introduction to the racecards for Royal Ascot. This year’s introduction said, “I send my best wishes to the thousands of racing professionals and enthusiasts who will join me in celebrating this year’s Royal Ascot. In these challenging times, we are once again delighted to welcome the best horses and jockeys from across the world and pay tribute to those who have helped make this race meeting possible.”
The Queen continued, “This year Ascot will feel different for many, as it is so often a chance for friends, families and colleagues to gather together and enjoy a shared passion. I am sure however, that with the valiant efforts of the organisers, owners, trainers and stable staff, it will remain one of Britain’s finest sporting occasions and a highlight of the racing calendar. To everyone attending Royal Ascot, in person or virtually, I hope you have a most enjoyable and unique week of racing.”
On a normal year, Royal Ascot attracts over 300,000 guests who make the most of dressing to impress. Ladies Day at Royal Ascot proves to be ever more popular each year.
Coverage of Royal Ascot is being broadcast on television so The Queen and thousands of fans will not miss out altogether. It is expected that Her Majesty will be watching from Windsor Castle – where she is currently isolating alongside The Duke of Edinburgh.
The Queen has a number of runners in the event including First Receiver, Tactical and Punctuation. Over the years, it is estimated that Her Majesty has won £7 million in prize money from horse racing.
Jockey, Jim Crowley, said of this years meeting, “It’s going to be strange behind closed doors but will still be a great meeting with high-quality racing.”
Royal Ascot began on Tuesday 16th June and runs until Saturday 20th June.