The Queen has missed out on attending the first day of Royal Ascot with Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall taking her place to lead the Royal procession.
It is the first time in three years Britain’s most popular horseracing event has seen a full attendance.
Her Majesty, 96, welcomed the crowds at the major event in a written message attached to the Royal Ascot’s programme.
“I am delighted to welcome you to the first Royal Ascot with a full attendance since 2019,” the message read.
“After the challenges of recent times, this year’s Royal Meeting provides a long-awaited opportunity for supporters of racing from all over the world to come together for five days of outstanding sport.
“I have been most grateful for the continued kindness shown to me by the racing community. In my Platinum Jubilee year, I was interested to learn that in support of The Queen’s Green Canopy initiative, Ascot Racecourse and the Crown Estate have planted seventy oak trees in Windsor Great Park, each of which is linked to a local school.
“I hope you all have an enjoyable and memorable time, and I wish connections of the horses running this week the very best of luck.”
Prince Charles and Camilla arrived in the first carriage with the Queen’s grandson Peter Phillips.
The Royal Procession arrived along the famous Straight Mile. This tradition started in 1825 and signals the start of the Royal Meeting. pic.twitter.com/naCkqg1Ib8
— The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall (@ClarenceHouse) June 14, 2022
The carriage procession reaches the winners’ enclosure at Royal Ascot. In the first carriage was Prince Charles and Camilla with the Queen’s eldest grandchild Peter Phillips. #royalascot pic.twitter.com/ddAXwRVRD1
— Simon Perry (@SPerryPeoplemag) June 14, 2022
The Queen’s mobility issues have seen her pull out of events throughout the year, often opting to carry out her Royal duties from home.
Most recently, Her Majesty pulled out of attending St Paul’s Cathedral Service of Thanksgiving, a significant Platinum Jubilee event, with “great reluctance”.
A spokesperson for the Queen said her withdrawal was linked to having “discomfort” at the Trooping the Colour events.
“The Queen greatly enjoyed today’s Birthday Parade and Flypast but did experience some discomfort,” the spokesperson said.
“Taking into account the journey and activity required to participate in tomorrow’s National Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral, Her Majesty with great reluctance has concluded that she will not attend.”
Known for her love of horses, the Queen may still make an appearance at the Royal Ascot’s five-day event.