Royal Ascot 2011

  June 21, 2011 at 3:02 pm by

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After celebrating Prince Phillip’s 90th Birthday over the weekend, The Royal Family were out in full force again last week as day one of Ascot kicked off. The Queen, Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie arrived together in horse-drawn carriages to celebrate the event’s 300th year. You also saw Princess Anne, her husband Vice-Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence, The Earl and Countess of Wessex and Prince Michael and Princess Michael of Kent later on in the day.

View the image at Belga

Her Majesty The Queen unveiled a statue of Ascot equine legend Yeats, the four-time Gold Cup winner dominated Royal Ascot from 2006 to 2009. Also an extra group race, the Tercentenary Stakes, has also been introduced this year to mark the anniversary.

The lucky racegoers who get to experience the thrill of the Royal Enclosure must adhere to a strict dress code. Women must wear a hat or ‘substantial fascinator’ with off the shoulder and halter neck dresses, dresses with a strap of less than one inch and miniskirts are all banned. Midriffs must be covered up and trouser suits should be full length and of matching material and colour. Men must wear morning dress with a waistcoat and top hat.

View the image at Belga

Day Two saw Her Majesty, The Duke of Edinburgh, Princess Alexandra of Kent and The Duke of Gloucester in the royal procession. The Countess of Wessex arrived and spent the day with her father Christopher Rhys-Jones. The last race at Ascot, The Sandringham Stakes, saw Her Majesty’s horse Humdrum as second favourite to win, unfortunately it landed outside the top three when the race ran.

View the image at Belga

Day Three saw the appearance of Carole and Michael Middleton in the fourth carriage of the Royal procession with Fitri and Jim Hay, notable horse owners. The Middletons were joined at Ascot by Princess Beatrice, Princess Anne, The Countess of Wessex as well as Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip. Besides the onslaught of pouring rain, the crazy hats were still showing and the champagne was still flowing. Day Three is often associated with the Ascot Gold Cup which is quite simply the highlight of the entire Meeting with the race taking place on Ladies Day which in turn has become the most popular day of the Royal meeting.

The penultimate day, Day Four, saw Her Majesty, Prince Phillip, The Duke of York his daughter Princess Eugenie and Princess Anne attending Ascot with Anne recycling an outfit first seen in 1980.  Lady Amelia Windsor, daughter of The Earl and Countess of St Andrews, made an appearance at the meeting and took her place in the Royal Box.

View the image at Belga

Ascot was founded in 1711 by Queen Anne and to this day is still owned by the Crown Estate. In 2004, the Ascot grounds closed for a period of nearly 2 years for refurbishment and it was opened again June 2006 ready for the Royal Meeting. During the time that Ascot was closed, the Royal Meeting in 2005 moved to York Racecourse and was a huge success.

The last day of the Royal Meeting at Ascot saw Her Majesty The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh and Princess Eugenie making the royal appearance. Saturday was not part of the Royal Meeting and before 2002 it was called Ascot Heath. In 2002 however, Her Majesty decided than a royal procession would be a part of the Saturday race events just like it is for all of the other days. Saturday has now become the “Peoples Day” will families coming out in full force. The highlight of the last day of Ascot is the Golden Jubilee stakes, renamed in 2002, and this year won by Society Rosk a horse rode by Pat Gosgrave, trained by James Fanshawe and owned by Simon Gibson. Trophies were presented to trainer, rider and owner by Her Majesty The Queen.

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