THE MOST ROYAL RACES OF ALL TIME
The Royal Ascot is the centrepiece of Ascot’s year and dates back to 1711 when it was founded by Queen Anne.
Every year Royal Ascot is attended by Elizabeth II and other members of the British Royal Familly such as The Prince of Wales, arriving each day in a horse-drawn carriage with the Royal procession taking place at the start of each race day and the raising of the Queen´s Royal Standard.
It is a major event in the British social calendar, and press coverage of the attendees and what they are wearing often exceeds coverage of the actual racing. There are three enclosures attended by guests on Royal Ascot week.
Over 300,000 people make the annual visit to Berkshire during Royal Ascot week, making this Europe’s best-attended race meeting. There are eighteen group races on offer, with at least one Group One event on each of the five days. The Gold Cup is on Ladies’ Day on the Thursday.
In 2012, the Golden Jubilee Stakes was renamed the Diamond Jubilee Stakes, to commemorate Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee.
In 2013, the Windsor Forest Stakes was renamed the Duke of Cambridge Stakes, with the Queen’s consent, recognising the new title given to Prince William.
In 2015, the newly created Commonwealth Cup became the eighth Group One race at Royal Ascot, replacing the Buckingham Palace Stakes.
In 2016, total prize money across the five days of Royal Ascot was £6,580,000. This was £1,000,000 more than the prize money on offer at the meeting in 2015, representing an overall increase of 18%. Races with notable prize money increases for 2016 included the Prince of Wales´s Stakes (£750,000 from £525,000), the Queen Anne Steakes (£600,000 from £375,000) and the Diamond Jublilee Steaks (£600,000 from £525,000), while the other Group One races all had their prize money increased to £400,000. The Gold Cup in 2016 was run as “The Gold Cup in Honour of The Queen’s 90th Birthday”.
Ascot Racecourse was founded in 1711 by Queen Anne. The first race, “Her Majesty’s Plate”, with a purse of 100 guineas, was held on 11 August 1711. Seven horses competed, each carrying a weight of 12 stones (76 kg). This first race comprised three separate four-mile (6437 m) heats.
Wednesday, a day where Champions are Made. A more gently-paced day that nevertheless feature an exciting card and includes the group one Prince of Wales´s Stakes.
It was famously won in 2012 by Black Caviar, who put her unbeaten record on the line to ensure global prestige.
Royal Ascot is synonymous with sartorial elegance. This is upheld by our dress code, which invites guests to contribute to an occasion heralded as a major fashion event in its own right.