The King and Queen are expected to attend everyday of the annual festival, carrying on the tradition from Queen Elizabeth II. King Charles and Queen Camilla were overcome with emotion as their horse crossed the line to secure their first win at Royal Ascot on Thursday.
Desert Win rode to victory in the King George V Stakes ridden by Tom Marquand as the King and Queen cheered on from the royal box. Charles looked visibly emotional to take his first win in hopes of following in his mother, Queen Elizabeth II’s footsteps who had over 24 wins at the festival during her reign. Pictures showed him open-mouthed as the horse approached the finish line, with other images showing him well-up with tears.
Camilla was equally as animated, cheering and pulling worried facial expressions as the mare sprinted down the final stretch. The late Queen had a well-known love of horses and was a regular attendee at Ascot, delighting crowds with bright outfits so she could always be seen. After her death, many of her horses were passed down to Charles and Camilla, with the King reportedly inheriting 37 racehorses, selling for around £1million.
Charles’s niece, Zara Tindall said the first win was a “bittersweet” moment after the death following the death of Queen Elizabeth last year. Speaking after the race she said: “It’s bittersweet to think how proud and excited the Queen would have been. “To have a winner for Charles and Camilla and to keep that dream alive. And besides all that, what a race.” Speaking on their attendance at the annual event Zara continued: “It’s a new excitement. “Like all those owners that come here and have a horse here having that dream, that hope and then fulfilling it is incredible.”
The royal’s trainer William Haggas added: “They’re absolutely thrilled. “They’ve been looking forward to Ascot for a long time, it’s very important for horse racing, important the King and Queen enjoy it.” But it wasn’t all smooth sailing for the King, who later in the day accidentally knocked over the winning trophy amist all the excitement.
Queen Elizabeth’s cousin, the Duke of Kent presented the trophy to the couple. The King had a role to play later on as he presented racing legend Frankie Dettori with his ninth Gold Cup trophy. The 52-year-old Italian who retires later this year, collected the famous trophy from King Charles and Queen Camilla, and even planted a kiss on the Queen’s cheek.