The Queen is set to miss Royal Ascot this year due to the coronavirus lockdown. The sporting event, which would have taken place in mid June, was cancelled by organisers due to the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic. Royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams spoke to Express.co.uk about why Royal Ascot, in particular, is so important to the monarch.
He said: “Remember the Queen is one of the world’s great equestrian enthusiasts.
“The first date in her diary for the year is Royal Ascot.
“Of course, she will miss it tremendously because she’s fond of anything when it comes to the equestrian world.
“She rides, of course, I don’t know whether she has been riding recently.”
Mr Fitzwilliams continued: “Anything of that vein, clearly she will miss.
“She will also, of course, have missed seeing her family on her birthday because she and Prince Philip are virtually self-isolating in Windsor.
“They can communicate by virtual means but of course she will have deeply missed seeing her family.
“There’s no doubt that, like every other family in the land, life has altered its pattern beyond recognition.”
The royal commentator added: “So, of course, she communicates with the Prime Minister by telephone.
“He’s been ill but they’ve been speaking on the phone.
“Everything has altered. Remember, last year she did nearly 300 engagements.”
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Mr Fitzwilliams also told Express.co.uk: “That’s extraordinary for someone of 93, as she was then.
“Of course she will have missed, as we all have, the normal patterns of life.
“But there are particular things she will have missed and that is seeing her family on her birthday and seeing more of her family on different times.
“Royal Ascot is major because she is a racing enthusiast like few others.
“She will have missed doing royal engagements in general.”
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