Royal Ascot: Queen Anne’s vision creates iconic sporting occasion
People are afforded a limited amount of time on Earth and many strive to leave a legacy behind them when they are gone.
Queen Anne died in 1714, just three years after establishing the foundations for the most iconic horse racing event in the United Kingdom – Royal Ascot.
The first-ever race, Her Majesty’s Plate, was run for prize money of just 100 guineas – an amount in stark contrast to the £7 million on offer across the 2019 meeting.
To mark the heritage of Royal Ascot, leading bookmaker Betway has produced a stunningly effective animated video detailing many of the historical events that have happened since Queen Anne’s brainwave.
For example, the first race at Ascot pre-dates the publication of Jane Austen’s first novel ‘Sense and Sensibility’ by 100 years.
Blackbeard the Pirate was still sailing the seas in 1718, while James Cook didn’t get around to discovering Australia until 1770.
Those events highlight the longevity that Royal Ascot has enjoyed and it is little wonder it holds such a special place in the horse racing calendar.
More than 300,000 people will attend this year’s meeting, with another 650 million watching the event on television around the world.
It is unlikely Queen Anne would have imagined her idea would have blossomed into the five-day extravaganza it is today, but the world of horse racing should be eternally grateful for her vision.