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Royal blue! Queen arrives for Champions Day at Ascot

The Queen looked in great spirits in a traditional blue ensemble as she arrived at Ascot racecourse this afternoon to enjoy the QIPCO British Champions Day.

Her Majesty’s outing comes after she made a rare public intervention on the climate change crisis on Thursday, saying she is ‘irritated’ by people who ‘talk but don’t do’.

She made the pointed comment when attending the opening of the Welsh parliament in Cardiff, and was speaking with the Duchess of Cornwall and Elin Jones, the parliament’s presiding officer, when her remarks were picked up on the event’s live stream.

The Queen referred to the upcoming Cop26 climate change conference in Glasgow, which she and other senior royals are due to attend. She said: ‘Extraordinary isn’t it… I’ve been hearing all about Cop… still don’t know who is coming… no idea. We only know about people who are not coming… It’s really irritating when they talk, but they don’t do.’

For today’s event, the 95-year-old monarch looked perfectly poised in a flattering blue ensemble as she arrived at the Ascot racehorse in Berkshire to watch the racing events unfold. 

A day at the races! The Queen (pictured) looked radiant in a traditional blue ensemble as she arrived at Ascot racecourse on Saturday to enjoy the QIPCO British Champions Day

Her Majesty fended off the colder weather with a pair of black gloves and wore sensible, mid-height heels ahead of the busy day at Ascot, which is described as one of the ‘most prestigious events in the British sporting calendar’. 

The Queen’s button-up coat boasted a black collar and wrist-detailing, while her sophisticated head piece matched the design by featuring a black rim. 

She completed her vibrant outfit with a typically stylish bag, a pearl necklace and matching earrings, as well as a silver brooch. 

The Champions Day, which is in its tenth occasion, begins with its first race at 1:25pm, with six events throughout the day until the final race at 4:30pm.

Looking good: For today’s event, the 95-year-old monarch looked perfectly poised in a flattering blue ensemble as she arrived at the Ascot racehorse in Berkshire to watch the racing events unfold 

The Queen Elizabeth II stakes, which takes place at 3:10pm, has a prize fund of more than £1million. The Group 1 flat horse race, open to horses aged three years or older, is run at Ascot over a distance of one mile. Taking place every year in October at Champions Day, it was renamed in honour of the Queen in 1955.

‘Thrilled’ Queen filled with a ‘lot of inner pride’ after being inducted into the horse racing hall of fame, says Her Majesty’s racing manager 

The Queen will be filled with a ‘lot of inner pride’ after being inducted into the official hall of fame for British flat racing, her racing manager said on Monday.

Her Majesty, 95, who is known for her love of horses and racing, as well as being a successful owner and breeder, has been awarded the honour due to her unwavering and lifelong dedication to the sport in the last eight decades.

John Warren, who oversees all of the monarch’s racing and horse breeding interests, said the recognition would be the source of a ‘lot of inner pride’ for the Queen. 

She has become the first person to gain membership of the QIPCO British Champions Series Hall of Fame within the Special Contributor category after being chosen by an independent panel of industry experts for her outstanding contribution. 

Sir Michael Stoute, who has trained more than 100 winners for Her Majesty, insisted she would be ‘thrilled’ at the news. 

Mr Warren, the Queen’s bloodstock and racing adviser, said: ‘I suspect that the Queen will have a lot of inner pride in being invited into the Hall of Fame.

‘The Queen’s contribution to racing and breeding derives from a lifelong commitment. Her love of horses and their welfare comes with a deep understanding of what is required to breed, rear, train and ride a thoroughbred.

‘Her Majesty’s fascination is unwavering and her pleasure derives from all of her horses – always accepting the outcome of their ability so gracefully.’

The Queen has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the bloodlines of the horses she breeds at The Royal Stud in Sandringham.

Her famous purple, gold braid and scarlet colours have recorded more than 1,800 winners since her first victory with Monaveen at Fontwell Park in 1949.

This season, she has recorded more winners than she did in 1957 when she was British flat racing’s Champion Owner.

Meanwhile, the Queen’s comments on Thursday suggesting she is irritated by a lack of action in tackling the climate crisis marked a rare intervention in a public debate. 

Her Majesty is believed to share concerns in government about who will attending Cop26 in just two weeks time after Boris Johnson was warned China’s President Xi would not be there in person. Organisers fear his snub could lead to China refusing to set new climate change goals amid the ongoing global energy crisis.

Others still not confirmed to be attending the UN conference are Australian prime minister Scott Morrison and Russian leader Vladimir Putin. Indian prime minister Narendra Modi and Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro have also not committed to being in Glasgow for the event.

US President Joe Biden confirmed only yesterday that he will attend. America’s charge d’affaires to the UK, Philip Reeker, said the summit in Glasgow will be ‘a pivotal moment on the road towards a more secure, prosperous and sustainable future for our planet’.

However if China does not commit to new action, the prospect of keeping global warming to 1.5C could well be scuppered. The country is responsible for 27 per cent of global carbon emissions. 

The Queen’s remarks were a rare public insight into the politically neutral – and tight-lipped – monarch’s personal views on an issue of global importance.

She attended the Welsh parliament alongside Camilla and the Prince of Wales, a committed environmentalist who made similar remarks this week.

The Queen did famously say she hoped ‘people will think very carefully about the future’ ahead of the Scottish independence referendum in 2014, which was viewed by many as a direct attempt to influence the vote.

Yesterday’s remarks, although also made in a public setting, were not political – simply a personal expression of frustration at inaction on climate change. 

Although the Queen has left environmental campaigning to her late husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, her son Charles, and grandson William, it is an issue she quietly takes a great interest in.

In a speech to the Scottish parliament earlier this month, she said: ‘Next month, I will be attending Cop26 events in Glasgow. The eyes of the world will be on the United Kingdom – and Scotland, in particular – as leaders come together to address the challenges of climate change.

‘There is a key role for the Scottish parliament, as with all parliaments, to help create a better, healthier future for us all, and to engage with the people they represent – especially our young people.’

In 2019, she used her Christmas speech to praise young climate change activists and their sense of purpose.

She has also introduced environmentally friendly initiatives at Buckingham Palace and other royal residences, including monitoring energy consumption through a network of smart meters, installing energy-efficient LED lighting where possible and using combined heat and power plants and boilers to convert natural gas into electricity. 

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