For the first time in her 68-year reign, Queen Elizabeth II to miss Royal Ascot with the famous race meeting being held behind closed doors for the first time in her lifetime. The horse racing festival is one of the highlights of the social calendar of Britain and has become a permanent fixture on the calendar of the monarch.
Although racing will go ahead as scheduled, Ascot ‘s normal rituals have been disrupted by the global pandemic. There will be no royal procession, no trophy presentations and no such closely related pomp and ceremony.
The meeting usually attracts hundreds of thousands of eager spectators, but the edition of this year will be limited to those people that are essential for race days. The focus will be on an expanded World-class racing schedule of 36 races taking place over five days. Nevertheless, the total prize pool has been significantly reduced to an approximate $4.65 million — $9.11 million in 2019. It is due to what Ascot Racecourse Chief Executive Guy Henderson called “unprecedented times.”
Queen Elizabeth II, 94, has sent a touching letter. It is to fans of racing as she prepares to watch Royal Ascot from home in 2020. The emotional remark includes in the Royal Ascot racecards this year. This is as the event holds behind doors for the first time. The Queen is a devoted racing fan but is unable to attend the five-day celebration this year. It is because of the coronavirus outbreak for the first time in her 68-year reign.