When was the first Royal procession at Ascot?
Located in the Royal County of Berkshire, approximately six miles from Windsor Castle, Ascot Racecourse has been closely associated with the British Royal Family for centuries. Indeed, it was the last Stuart monarch, Queen Anne, who founded Ascot Racecourse, in an area originally known as ‘East Cote’, in 1711. The first recognisable ‘Royal Ascot’ meeting was staged in 1768, during the reign of King George III. ‘Farmer George’ was still on the throne when the Royal Enclosure was created as a premier vantage point for viewing the inaugural running of the Gold Cup in 1807.
However, it was his eldest son, King George IV, who introduced the Royal Procession in 1825. King George IV and his guests apparently made for a ‘very splendid’ spectacle as they made their way up the Straight Mile in beautiful horse-drawn carriages. The traditional has continued ever since; under normal circumstances, Queen Elizabeth II and her cortege arrive at the Royal Gates at 2pm sharp every afternoon and process, accompanied by fanfare, along the Straight Mile to the Parade Ring.