Queen leaves Royal Ascot delighted after first return to racecourse since 2019

·3 min read

The Queen looked delighted during her first return to Royal Ascot since 2019, as her horses came close to winning.

Usually a regular at the famous Berkshire meet, the Queen had been a no-show since the festival began on Tuesday.

The monarch also missed last year’s race as it was held behind closed doors due to the coronavirus pandemic.

However, her smile was wide for all to see as she waved at the cheering crowd while leaving the event on Saturday afternoon, appearing to have fully enjoyed her day at the races.

The monarch was not seen in the royal box during the day, opting to watch the races privately, but had the chance to inspect her four horses in the Parade Ring after they crossed the finish line.

Reach For The Moon, the first of those running in her colours of purple and gold, finished a close second during the Chesham Stakes race at 2.30pm.

She had a wide smile on her face as she inspected the colt after it crossed the finish line and beamed as she watched Tactical and Light Refrain, ahead of the second race.

Royal Ascot 2021 – Day Five
The Queen with her racing manager John Warren (Andrew Matthews/PA)

The Queen had briefly spoken with the jockey of her gelding King’s Lynn, which finished third in The Wokingham Stakes race at 5pm despite being the favourite.

The monarch was later seen smiling and chatting as she was driven out of the racecourse.

She had arrived at the racecourse to applause and cheers in a beige car at 2pm wearing an Angela Kelly outfit, including a pleated mint coat and matching hat, with a pink and mint floral dress.

Royal Ascot 2021 – Day Five
The Queen with racing manager John Warren and jockey Frankie Dettori (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Punters like to bet on the colour of the Queen’s hat, and this year bookmakers had said the most popular predictions were blue and green due to the change in weather.

Nicola McGeady, of Ladbrokes, said: “Punters could finally enjoy a flutter on the colour of the Queen’s hat after waiting patiently for her arrival all week.

“Green was the colour that attracted the majority of bets, so plenty of punters have got the day off to a great start.”

The Queen’s eldest grandson Peter Phillips was also seen arriving earlier in the day.

The carriage procession that usually precedes each day’s racing did not take place.

Environmental campaign group Extinction Rebellion appeared to unfurl a banner reading “Racing To Extinction”, intended to be seen by the Queen, who was nowhere near the incident.

Four people dressed up like members of Royal Ascot staff to get close to the course, before chaining themselves to the far rail after the first race.

Royal Ascot 2021 – Day Five
A banner was unveiled intended to be seen by the Queen (Steven Paston/PA)

A screen was set up near the winning post while the protesters were removed.

A spokesperson for Ascot said: “The incident was quickly dealt with without delay to racing.”

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