Prince Charles stepped in for the Queen on the first day of Royal Ascot as the meeting was “brought back to life” after three years at a reduced capacity.
Thousands of players filled the stands to the rafters for the first time since before the Covid pandemic.
Many had hoped to catch a glimpse of the Queen – a passionate racehorse owner and breeder – but it was announced shortly beforehand that she would not be attending.
However, it is likely that Her Majesty watched the proceedings on television from Windsor Castle and was kept up to date with developments by her racing adviser, John Warren.
The traditional procession of carriages still took place, with the royals appearing along the route before the races began, led by the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall.
They were followed by Princess Beatrice and her husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, who eventually made their way to an exclusive area.
Zara Tindall, always the jolly queen, was spotted joking and laughing with her uncle Charles and at one point she put her arm around the future king as they chatted.
Princess Beatrice also showed off her sense of humor as she seemingly sarcastically told the press following her: “I’ll be here all day”.
Other guests photographed in the crowd included the Duchess of Cambridge’s parents, Carole and Michael Middleton.
Later, in the royal box, Charles and Camilla stood with the official broadcasts in hand as they watched the race from a balcony with the Countess of Wessex.
While the Queen couldn’t make it to this year’s popular event, she certainly made sure her presence was felt by everyone who traveled to Berkshire for the day.
In the official programme, Her Majesty wrote: “Following recent challenges, this year’s royal gathering offers a long-awaited opportunity for racing fans from around the world to experience five days of outstanding sport.
“It is once again exciting that horses from all over the world have traveled to Royal Ascot to compete at the highest level.”
The Queen has entered more than 10 horses over the five days of the event and with her home at Windsor Castle just a 15 minute drive away there is still hope that she will take part later in the week.
Remarkably, three-year-old colt Reach For The Moon, trained by John and Thady Gosden, has been named the one to watch in 2022.
Reach For The Moon was unable to drive in the Epsom Derbyso all eyes will be on the Hampton Court Stakes in hopes of a jubilee win during the race on Thursday 16th June.
Also running at Royal Ascot 2022 are three-year-old filly Perfect Alibi, trained by William Haggas, and five-year-old gelding King’s Lynn, trained by AM Balding.
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https://metro.co.uk/2022/06/14/prince-charles-leads-royal-procession-at-ascot-after-queen-pulls-out-16827632/ Prince Charles leads the royal procession at Ascot after the Queen has left