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.
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.
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.
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.
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.