In our whirlwind month of extreme excitement last month, we were able to head to the races--the crème de la crème of them all: Royal Ascot.
This was our second year to attend, and nothing is more fun than dressing up for this occasion.
The girls were looking quite smart,
but I must say the men looked quite "dapper."
This being the Diamond Jubilee Stakes year, the prizes being awarded were huge: £4.5 million across 30 races in a 5 day period.
The fashion stakes were higher this year, as well, with new rules for those of us sitting in what is called the Royal Enclosure section. No more flimsy fascinators allowed--only a substantial hat would do, and the modesty requirements for women's dresses were spelled out precisely. We were greeted by the "fashion police" who made sure everyone was complying by the rules, and if you were not, you were kindly asked to take (for a fee) the pashminas and hats they had on hand for the offenders!
Thankfully, we passed the test
and headed to our suite to join our friends who were busy strategizing their races and sizing up the horses.
After a lovely lunch,
we headed down to the Parade Ring where I captured the best photo I've ever taken of the queen, as she entered the racecourse. Wasn't she especially lovely on this day? It's always great fun to predict what color the queen will wear each of the 5 days of the races, and this year I hit the jackpot in our suite's Queen's Color Pool by predicting purple. I kept my winnings to myself and went home with it all, not taking any risks!
Following the queen was her first cousin, Prince Michael of Kent and his wife Princess Michael.
Now it was time for the races--5 in all that day.
The queen entered her thoroughbred, Estimate, in the 5 PM Queen's Vase race. Estimate had been a gift from the Aga Kahn's top breeding stock. Like other horse owners, she came to view the filly and chat with the jockey
before the race began.
It was an exceptional day for the queen, with Estimate keeping a steady pace throughout the race and then breaking away to win by 5 lengths.
His jockey, Ryan Moore, brought him to the winner's lane
where the Queen reappeared to give him a congratulatory pat.
The presenter of the prize was none other than her own husband, Prince Philip, who seemed quite pleased to hand it over to his wife. This marked her 21st Royal Ascot win and the first time that Prince Philip awarded her a trophy.
She seemed quite pleased with her jockey and his triumph, which was her first winner since 2008.
Then it was back to the seats to watch the final race of the day.
The day wrapped up with the Traditional Sing Along along the bandstand, one of our favorite parts of the day,
and some tailgating with friends who made it such a memorable occasion.
You won't be disappointed if you catch my next blog when some of the amazing hats of the day will be featured!
Till then, Happy Weekend everyone!