One of the most eagerly anticipated events in the racing calendar, Royal Ascot, has returned.
The prestigious event takes place over five days in mid-June every year, and is often attended by the Queen and many members of the royal family.
But, with the Queen recently missing some of her Platinum Jubilee celebrations due to her on-going mobility issues there are questions about whether or not she will attend this year.
So, will Her Majesty attend this year, which other members of the royal family will attend, and what exactly is the race?
Here’s everything you need to know.
Will the Queen attend Royal Ascot?
Her Majesty and members of the extended royal family attend Royal Ascot every year.
Queen Elizabeth II has only missed one event during her 70 year reign, and that was in 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic.
It is not known at the time of writing if the monarch will attend this year.
The 96 year old recently did not attend some of her Platinum Jubilee events, including the Epsom Derby, because of her well documented mobility issues.
An announcement about the Queen’s potential attendance at Royal Ascot is expected soon.
However, there still seems to be hope she may attend on Tuesday 14 June as, according to the Visit Windsor website, the Queen is still scheduled to arrive by carriage at 2pm, with the first race being at 2.30pm and the last of the day at 5.35pm.
Does the Queen have any horses running?
Yes, the Queen does have horses racing at Royal Ascot this year.
One of her horses, three year old colt Reach For The Moon - who has been trained by John and Thady Gosden - has been dubbed the one to watch in 2022.
Reach For The Moon was unable to race in the Epsom Derby, so people will be hoping for a win during the Thursday, June 16 race at the Hampton Court Stakes.
Also running in Royal Ascot 2022 are three-year-old filly Perfect Alibi, trained by William Haggas, and five-year-old gelding King’s Lynn, who is trained by A.M. Balding.
Her Majesty does own all three horses but she does not train any of them herself.
Which other members of the royal family will attend Royal Ascot?
It is not yet known which members of the royal family will attend Royal Ascot, or on which days they will attend, but if last year’s event is anything to go by we can expect to see Prince Charles and his wife Duchess Camilla, Princess Anne, Zara and Mike Tindall, and Prince Edward and his wife, Sophie, Countess of Wessex.
What is Royal Ascot?
Royal Ascot is an annual race event which takes place every June at Ascot Racecourse, and lasts for five days.
It is one of the most prestigious and biggest events in the racing calendar.
There are 18 group races.
Ascot Racecourse was founded by Queen Anne in 1711 when she came upon an area of open heath that looked “ideal for horses to gallop at full stretch”.
When is Royal Ascot 2022?
This year, the racing takes place between Tuesday 14 June and Saturday 18 June.
The racing begins on Tuesday in front of a full capacity crowd of 70,000 for the first time since 2019, after the event was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic for the past two years.