The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have joined Her Majesty for a day at the races – taking part in Royal Ascot’s famous carriage procession.
William and Kate were guests of the Queen in the royal box for the first day of the famous Berkshire racing meet, which is expected to attract around 300,000 racegoers over the next five days.
Writing in the opening day’s official race programme, the Queen said: “Racing began at Ascot over 300 years ago and while much has changed, the horses remain the stars, thrilling us with their beauty, brilliance and courage.
“The quality and depth of competition at the royal meeting has also continued to prosper, with eight group one races taking place this week.
The Cambridges will present the winning trophies in the King’s Stand Stakes – a group one race.
The event is regularly attended by the Queen who is a keen horse owner and passionate breeder of thoroughbreds, with more than 20 Royal Ascot winners.
A carriage procession, with the Queen at its head, signals the start of each day of the event, and racegoers are always keen to see the monarch’s guests riding in the coaches.
Royal Ascot is as much a social occasion as a sporting event, and racegoers take the opportunity to turn on the style, from chic hats and summer dresses to sharp suits.
Punters traditionally have a bet on the colour of the Queen’s hat, with pink the favourite with bookies William Hill for the first day.
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