In Britain, the Tuesday after Trooping the Colour means only one thing…it’s Royal Ascot time!
Known as ‘The Queen’s favourite week in racing’ Royal Ascot brings the world of royals and racing together in a week-long spectacle that truly is, as they advertise, ‘like nowhere else’.
I’ll be at the races for opening day today (full account to come soon!) and as it’s due to rain horrifically I thought I’d throw it back to last year’s Royal Ascot which was brilliantly sunny and so much fun!
(It’s all about the hat and the shoes at Ascot!)
G and I secured tickets to the Queen Anne Enclosure which straddles the central grandstand offering amazing views of the races as well as the parade ring which allows you access to the horses (to assess the racers before placing your bets).
It also allows you front row seats for the royal carriage procession!
We lined up early to get our spot and there was excitement in the crowd as a gentleman came out and started handing out sheets of paper to the people, like us, right at the edge of the ring. Having heard about the Ascot tradition of ‘singing around the bandstand’ we initially wondered if it was song lyrics but were pleasantly surprised to find it was a list of who would be in each carriage. Very handy!
As the horses came around the corner and into the parade ring excitement mounted…and then we saw her. Gorgeous in pink, The Queen was all smiles, completely in her element.
I, for one, was very pleased to see Prince Harry was joining the royal party – he looks so different without the beard he’s been sporting of late!
The Queen and Prince Philip^
The Duke of York and Prince Harry^
Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall^
The Princess Royal with the Duchess of Gloucester^
The royals travelled around the ring, stopping on the far side to get out and greet their friends, family and guests.
Princes Beatrice greeting her cousin, Peter Phillips, and his Canadian-born wife Autumn.
A smile of Princess Anne as she assesses the horses for the first race. It was hysterical to see her wave a quick hello to everyone else before determinedly striding out to stand away from the crowd where she could see the horses, taking down notes in her race program along the way.
Her daughter Zara Tindall came over to say hello and I love that it looks like she’s doing a little gallop here – how appropriate!
As the horses passed out of the Parade Ring and the start of the first race approached we (and the royals) headed towards the grandstand to find a good spot to watch the race.
Princess Beatrice heading up to the royal box…
…followed by Autumn Phillips (in black and white).
The mood in the grandstand was jubilant (no doubt helped by the copious amounts of Pimm’s being consumed!) as the first race got underway.
We spent the rest of the day going back and forth between watching the races and watching the presentation of the trophies in the Parade Ring.
The best presentation was the one in which Prince Harry accidentally broke the trophy while handing it to the winning jockey. I didn’t manage to get any pictures as I was laughing so hard at the sheepish expression on Harry’s face!
Royal Ascot is a wonderful day out and I’d highly recommend it if you’re in London in June. All the details can be found here.
A little teaser to tide you over until you see it for yourself: