For those who love the quirky anecdotes and fascinating facts that make up Royal Ascot, here is a quick selection: Since Queen Anne founded Ascot Racecourse back in 1711, a further 11 monarchs have acceded to the British throne. Mrs Gertrude Shilling was undeniably the premier indefatigable sartorial dame of Ascot (nicknamed The Ascot Mascot), but she has met with competition from all over the world, including in 1976 when Australia’s Dame Edna Everage, alias Barry Humphries, attended with a four foot Sydney Opera House perched on “her” head. Following the successes of Choisir, Takeover Target, Miss Andretti, Scenic...Read More
Author: Allison Graham
Royal Ascot Race Histories Royal Ascot is steeped in history and below is a brief guide to the stories behind some of the most famous races: The Queen Anne Stakes (Group One) Founded in 1840, the Queen Anne Stakes commemorates the monarch who established racing at Ascot in 1711. Run as the Trial Stakes until 1929, the Queen Anne Stakes was first awarded Group Three status in 1971, becoming Group Two in 1984. The race, attracting Europe’s top older milers, achieved the highest three-year average rating of any Group Two race in Britain from 1999 to 2002 according to...Read More
Ascot Behind the Scenes There are not only faces of Ascot but voices too, and Raymond Glendenning’s was one of the most evocative in horseracing. Glendenning in fact provided the audio backdrop to many other sports in his long career as a BBC radio sports commentator, including every FA Cup Final from 1946-1963, the football World Cup and the Wimbledon Championships. His distinctive broadcasting style of fast-paced commentary delivered in public school, cut glass tones would eventually fall out of favour as “BBC English” in the 1960s and ‘70s, to be replaced with more regional and less obviously upper or middle class accents. But to hear his commentary today is to be...Read More
A guide to Royal Ascot Style La Loren leads the field The Italian screen legend, Sophia Loren, the epitome of Royal Ascot Style, graces Royal Ascot, 1966. Ascot has always played host to famous international figures. But whereas in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries they were most likely to be foreign royalty and international statesmen, in modern times you are equally likely to see some of the biggest names in Hollywood, dressed and styled by some of the leading names in couture fashion. In 1922 the Times correspondent wrote that “Ascot is notoriously the best place in England to see beautiful women in beautiful clothes,” and as a stunning Sophia Loren so elegantly demonstrated...Read More
Royal Ascot History and Traditions It was Queen Anne who first saw the potential for a racecourse at Ascot, which in those days was called East Cote. Whilst out riding in 1711, she came upon an area of open heath, not far from Windsor Castle, that looked an ideal place for “horses to gallop at full stretch.” The first race meeting ever held at Ascot took place on Saturday 11th August, 1711. Her Majesty’s Plate, worth 100 Guineas and open to any horse, mare or gelding over the age of six, was the inaugural event. Each horse was required...Read More
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