Looking Back – The Royal Family at Royal Ascot

Ascot Racecourse was founded in 1711 by Queen Anne and the first Royal Meeting took place there in 1768. Over the past 300 years, 11 monarchs have patronised this event. During this time, countless memories have been made by Britain’s Royal Family at Royal Ascot.

Members of the House of Windsor make an appearance each day of Royal Ascot. As part of a long-standing tradition, they always arrive in a carriage procession promptly at 2:00pm. In fact, Queen Elizabeth II has not missed a single day of Ascot since her coronation in 1952! In honour of the Royal Family’s epic race week, here are five of our favourite Royal Ascot Royal moments…

1) Before Elizabeth was Queen

hat brim edge with millinery wire

The Royal Ascot of 1946 was the first race meeting after World War II. Princess Elizabeth and her Aunt Mary, Princess Royal, are pictured here, arriving in the royal carriage procession. This was seven years before the young Princess would be crowned Queen.

2) Lady Diana’s First Royal Procession

Royal Family at Royal Ascot - Princess Diana 1981

Just a month before her 1981 wedding to Prince Charles, Lady Diana Spencer made her first appearance with the Royal Family at Royal Ascot. Prior to her untimely passing in 1997, the Princess would go on to attend several more race weeks with the family over the years.

3) A Young Racegoer

Royal Family at Royal Ascot - Princess Anne and Zara Phillips 1989, Getty Images

We love when young royals make public appearances. Here, the young Zara Phillips is pictured attending the race with her mother, Princess Anne, in 1989. We hope the next generation of royal children will make their debuts soon!

4) A Five Year Wait

Royal Family at Royal Ascot - William and Kate 2011

Even though Kate Middleton wed Prince William in 2011, it wasn’t until 2016 that the couple made their Royal Ascot debut. Presumably, the young couple were invited each year but most likely declined because they were focused on their new marriage and children.

5) The Newlyweds

Royal Family at Royal Ascot - Meghan and Harry 2018

Unlike her sister-in-law, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, attended her first Royal Ascot in 2018, just a month after her wedding to Prince Harry.

Anticipating which Royal Family members will make an Ascot appearance each year is just another reason why Ascot Week is such an exciting affair. Here’s to more lovely royal moments in the years to come!

About the Author

Maggie Kreienberg - HATalk Blogger

Maggie Kreienberg is a contributing editor at BRIDES Magazine and is currently based in New York City. She graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a degree in public relations in 2019.

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