For the first time in her 68-year reign, Queen Elizabeth II will miss the Royal Ascot, said a BBC report.
This is the first time in its history that this will happen with the iconic horse race.
This festival is considered as one of the highlights of Britain’s social calendar and has been a permanent fixture on the monarch’s calendar.
“I sent my best wishes to the thousands of racing professionals and enthusiasts who will join me in celebrating this year’s Royal Ascot. In these challenging times, we are once again delighted to welcome the best horses and jockeys from across the world and pay tribute to those who have helped make this race meeting possible. This year Ascot will feel different for many, as it is so often a chance for friends, families, and colleagues to gather together and enjoy a shared passion. I am sure, however, that with the valiant efforts of the organizers, owners, trainers, and stable staff, it will remain one of Britain’s finest sporting occasions and a highlight of the racing calendar.”
-Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth ll of the United Kingdom.
Changes To The Event
Though the racing can go ahead as planned, the global pandemic has prevented Ascot’s usual traditions. According to the report, there will be no royal procession, no trophy presentations, and none of the pomp and ceremony so closely associated with the event.
The event usually attracts hundreds of thousands of spectators but this year’s edition will be limited to only those people essential for race days.
The report said, the focus will be on an extended schedule of world-class racing with 36 contests being held over five days.
However, the overall prize pot has been drastically reduced to an estimated $4.65 million. This is almost half of the $9.11 million given in 2019.
Though the Queen will miss the Royal Ascot for the first time, next year’s race is already open for reservations with hopes that Her Majesty might be able to attend.
UPDATE: In United Kingdom local time, the race has been won. The winning horse was no other than Tactical, the Queen’s stallion.
See Tactical win here: