Queen misses Royal Ascot again for only the second time in her 69-year reign

The Queen has missed the Royal Ascot for the second time in her 69-year reign due to coronavirus restrictions.

The monarch missed last year's races as it was held behind closed doors due to the pandemic.

However, this year despite ladies getting dolled up to the nines for the open event, the Queen has still chosen not to attend.

Earlier this month, palace insiders claimed the Queen would not attend the Epsom Derby or the Royal Ascot as they weren't going to be held in the traditional way.

One source told The Telegraph: "It's a Derby, but it's not a traditional Derby Day. It's not going to be what it normally is so the Queen has decided she would rather watch it at home."

According to the Telegraph's royal experts, Camilla Tominey and Gordon Rayner, the monarch was also expected to miss the Royal Ascot for the same reason.

However, Her Majesty's racing manager, John Warren, suggested to Radio 4 that she may attend later in the week.

The royals usually flock to enjoy the Ascot festivities together, and while the Monarch may be absent today, other members of the family are present for the racing, including Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.

Her granddaughter Zara Tindall and husband Mike, along with Princess Anne, Prince Edward and wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex, are also all in attendance.

The monarch, who is known to be a huge fan of Ascot and has won around £7m in prize money from horse racing over three decades, watched the event from Windsor Castle and sent a message to others enjoying the sport.

Her Majesty wrote: "I send my best wishes to the thousands of racing professionals and enthusiasts who will join me in celebrating this year's Royal Ascot.

"In these challenging times, we are once again delighted to welcome the best horses and jockeys from across the world and pay tribute to those who have helped make this race meeting possible.

"This year Ascot will feel different for many, as it is so often a chance for friends, families, and colleagues to gather together and enjoy a shared passion.

"I am sure, however, that with the valiant efforts of the organisers, owners, trainers, and stable staff, it will remain one of Britain's finest sporting occasions and a highlight of the racing calendar.

"To everyone attending Royal Ascot, in person or virtually, I hope you have a most enjoyable and unique week of racing."

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