If there’s one horse racing festival in the country that loves tradition more than most it has to be Royal Ascot. The pomp and ceremony that takes place during this glorious week of racing each June really is a spectacle to behold.
Horse-drawn carriages, champagne aplenty and orchestral music playing under a dazzling blue sky is a long way off the wet and windy conditions of Musselburgh, Ayr and Doncaster in the depths of winter.
Ascot is full of traditions and one of the longest is the Royal Procession. If you’ve never seen it before you might wonder what on earth all the fuss is about. Well, Paddy Power is here to explain all in our latest Demystifying Racing guide!
What is the Royal Procession at Royal Ascot?
The Royal Procession is a tradition at Ascot that goes back to 1985, when King George IV paraded in front of racegoers before taking his position to watch the festival. These days, the Queen arrives for the start of all five racedays at 2pm on a horse-drawn carriage from the Royal Gates at one end of the racecourse.
The carriages, known as Ascot Landaus, seat four people and are the Queen’s is drawn by Windsor Grey horses. Usually another member of the royal family accompanies the Queen, such as Prince Charles or Camilla, along with two other members of the aristocracy.
The carriages go along the Straight Mile and stop at the parade ring. The procession starts at 2pm each day.
Can you bet on the Queen at Royal Ascot?
Yes! You can place a bet on the Queen at Royal Ascot but it’s not quite the same as racing betting. Rather, markets open on what colour the Queen’s hat will be on day one of the festival. It’s hardly an exact science but in 2019 punters could get a price of 14/1 on her hat being orange. As it happens she wore blue – the pre-Royal Procession favourite at 11/10.
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- What is a Black type horse race?
- What are the different types of going in horse racing?
- What is a bumper horse race?
- What are blinkers and why do some horses wear them?
- What is an Allowance Race in horse racing?
- What is the difference between hurdles and fences in National Hunt racing?
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- What does it mean when a horse has spread a plate?
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- What is the difference between graded, handicap and selling horse races?
- What does a novice hurdle in horse racing mean?
- What is a listed horse race?
- What does a novice chase in horse racing mean?
- Why do race horses have different ratings and what do they mean?
- When does the National Hunt season start and when does it end?
- Why are there different grades of horse race?
- Why are there 3 different types of National Hunt race?
- Why are race horses given different weights and what does it mean?
- How many different classes of horse race are there?
- What is a claiming race and what do they mean?
- What is an optional claimer in horse racing?
- What is a shadow roll and why do some race horses wear them?
- Why do some races start from stalls and some not?
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- What does it mean when a horse knuckles during a horse race?
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- What is a yearling horse and when are they ready to race?
- What does it mean if a horse has won a point race?
- What does a maiden mean in horse racing?
- How are horses’ ages calculated and why is it not the same as humans?
- What advantages do apprentice jockeys get when riding against professionals?
- What is a conditional jockey?
- What does the term ‘connections’ mean in horse racing?
- Why do some horses wear cheekpieces?
- Who are the stewards in horse racing?
- What does ‘weighed in’ mean at the end of a horse race?
- What is a nursery race?
- Why are some National Hunt races run without fences?
- Why are some horses given a tongue tie during races?
- What does it mean when a horse is ‘pushed out’?
- How are horse racing ratings calculated?
- What does it mean when a horse has a ‘wind operation’?
- How high are the fences and hurdles in horse racing?
- What is an apprentice jockey?
- What is a Bull Ring in horse racing?
- What does the phrase ‘Look of Eagles’ mean in horse racing?
- Why do some horses wear a ‘weight cloth’ during races?
- What is the Triple Crown in horse racing?
- What is a Steeplechase race in horse racing?
- How high are the Cheltenham Festival fences and hurdles?
- Why is the Champion Chase named after the Queen Mother?
- Why does Cheltenham racecourse have an Old Course and a New Course? What’s the differences between the two?
- What is the Cheltenham roar? What difference does it make in races?
- Why are there no jumps in the Cheltenham Festival Champion Bumper?
- How many fans usually attend the Cheltenham Festival? How big is the capacity?
- What is a juvenile in horse racing?
- Grand National fence names and the stories behind every Aintree jump
- How high are Grand National fences at Aintree Racecourse?
- What are Grand National fences made of at Aintree Racecourse?
- Grand National fences: Order of jumps, total and which are taken twice
- Grand National weights: Why do horses carry different weights at Aintree?
- How many people usually attend the Grand National? What is Aintree’s capacity?
- What is the distance of the Grand National? How far do the horses run?
- How does a horse qualify for the Grand National?
- When did a horse last win the Grand National carrying top weight?
- Do Grand National reserve horses ever run in the race at Aintree?
- What is a sire and a dam? Why is breeding so important in horse racing?
- What’s the difference between a colt, filly, gelding, stallion and mare?
- What does it mean when a horse goes to stud?
- What do horse racing commentators mean by sectional times?
- How do they choose Epsom Derby stall numbers? Is there a draw bias?
- How long does it take horses to complete the Epsom Derby? How fast are the runners?
- How many racehorses does the Queen own?