ASCOT: The Royal Party passing through the Golden Gates at Ascot, the entrance to the racecourse on 19 June 1934. The royal carriage pulls in a 2pm sharp, starting the day's proceedings. Mediadrumimages/TopFoto/Retronaut

By Alex Jones


AS MILLIONS of punters cast their eye over the form books as Royal Ascot 2019 gets underway, fascinating vintage pictures show how the Royal family is always at the centre of the historic racing event.

ASCOT: A bad loss perhaps? These two well dressed punters have faces like thunder. Mediadrumimages/TopFoto/Retronaut

Remarkable black and white photos, some over 100 years old, include the royal box in 1919 on what looks to be a wet and wild day; The Queen, her mother, and Princes Margaret in the enclosure after the monarch’s horse “Alexander” had romped home; and a sea of grey toppers flooding Waterloo Station as eager racegoing crowds through their way to Ascot Racecourse.

ASCOT: Ascot Racecourse, setting out chairs in the enclosure on 10 June 1926. The monarchy has been at the heart of the event for centuries. Mediadrumimages/TopFoto/Retronaut

This week one of Britain’s most well-known racecourses, Ascot, is hosting the UK’s most valuable race meeting. As ever, the prestigious event will be attended by The Queen, who has had an interest in horses since childhood. This incredibly popular race meeting, which is expected to welcome around 300,000 visitors over five days, all dressed up in their finest clothes and hats, started on Tuesday. The world’s finest horses, jockeys, and trainers will all be in attendance.

ASCOT: Get Set: Policewoman directs the crowd with microphone and loudspeaker at Ascot Gold Cup day on 16 June 1949. Mediadrumimages/TopFoto/Retronaut

The Queen is owner and breeder of many thoroughbred horses and shares her interest in horses with many members of her family. In fact, The Queen’s own horses have won races at Royal Ascot a number of times. As has been the case for nearly two centuries, a colourful procession of open-top carriages along the racecourse will signal the arrival each day of the Queen and other members of the royal party.

ASCOT: Black Ascot: The Royal Box with drawn blinds and the sombrely clad spectators in the Royal enclosure. 18 June 1910. King Edward VII, who was a great supporter of racing, died shortly before the event. Mediadrumimages/TopFoto/Retronaut

This year Her Majesty’s Magnetic Charm will be racing on day four and a whopping £7.3m in prize money will be up for grabs.

Ascot Racecourse was founded by Queen Anne in 1711, and has since received the patronage of a further eleven monarchs. The Ascot summer race meeting officially became a Royal week in 1911.