Yesterday, I was able to check something special off of my "bucket list." After living in the London area for 3 years, I finally was in town the week of the Royal Ascot horse races, and we were the lucky guests of friends who had arranged for a private box where we could enjoy the entire day. Royal Ascot spans over 5 days, and this year was the 300th anniversary of the race that was first begun by Queen Anne in 1711.
Some arrived by horse and wagon to Day 2 of Royal Ascot,
but our style was much simpler, arriving by mini coach, and joining the others who arrived early to enjoy
some pre-race festivities and picnics.
It could have been compared to a royal tailgating party, because there were coach loads of guests all dressed to party.
Our group of friends was in rare form,
and the girls were in their loveliest hats and frocks.
Hubby and I stopped for a quick picture as we entered the race course-- he, of course, in his morning suit, and I, in my formal day dress and a "substantial fascinator" as required by those
entering the Royal Enclosure, a section at the heart of all the Royal Ascot activities with strict rules to abide by, as well as special privileges.
We watched 5 races throughout the afternoon, with one upset after another, with none of the favorites taking home the winning prize.
In between races, we enjoyed a lovely lunch together, as well as high tea in the afternoon.
Race watchers sitting in the Royal Enclosure are allowed into the Parade Ring to get a close up look at the horses before they run,
and see them as they come off the tracks, lathered in sweat after a race well run.
Jockeys are quizzed about their performance,
and the winner of the biggest race of the day, the Prince of Wales £400,000 Stakes, is crowned. Rewilding, owned by the Sheikh Mohammed of Dubai came from behind to earn the coveted prize.
One of his trainers kept him circling in front of us for awhile as he cooled down, giving us a close up look at this beautiful 4 year old colt who had been given 17-2 odds of winning.
As the day wound down, the crowds stopped around the bandstand to celebrate their winnings in an old-fashioned and traditional sing along. One of the highlights of the day and a marvelous way to wrap up such a memorable occasion.
Stay tuned, because coming soon, I'll share with you about the "people-watching" we did, including some "royal" sightings, and of course, no report on Royal Ascot would be complete without sharing with you some of the wildest and best hats of the day!