Who initiated the Royal Procession at Ascot?
Ascot Racecourse, situated approximately six miles from Windsor Castle on land leased from the Crown Estate, has always enjoyed Royal connections. The racecourse was founded, in an area originally known as ‘East Cote’, by Queen Anne in 1711 and, although what would eventually become ‘Royal Ascot’ would develop, piecemeal, over the next few decades, the first recognisable, four-day Royal Meeting to place in 1768, during the reign of King George III.
However, it was King George IV who initiated the Royal Procession in 1825, five years after his accession to the throne, following the death of his father, in 1820. The tradition has continued ever since. Nowadays, a 2pm sharp on each of the five days, including Saturday, Her Majesty The Queen and other members of the Royal Family make their way in convertible carriages, known as Ascot Landaus, each drawn by four Windsor Grey horses, from the Royal Gates at the far end of the racecourse, along the Straight Mile, to the Parade Ring.