Ascot protestors ejected following demonstration intended to be seen by the Queen

Environmental campaign group Extinction Rebellion appeared to unfurl a banner reading ‘Racing To Extinction’ at Royal Ascot on Saturday that was intended to be seen by the Queen.

The Queen was making her first visit of the week to the showpiece meeting, but was nowhere near the incident.

A number of protestors attempted to disrupt racing by chaining themselves to the far rail after the first race, the Chesham Stakes, in which the Queen’s horse Reach For The Moon was a close second under Frankie Dettori.

A screen was erected near the winning post while the protestors were removed.

A spokesperson for Ascot said: “The incident was quickly dealt with without delay to racing.”

Protestors unfurl a banner during day five of Royal Ascot
Protestors unfurl a banner during day five of Royal Ascot (Steven Paston/PA)

The Queen could not hide her delight at being back at the famous Berkshire meeting for the time since 2019, although there was no royal procession this week.

The monarch was not seen in the royal box during the race, opting to watch it privately, but had the chance to inspect the colt in the parade ring beforehand, beaming as she met Dettori and trainer John Gosden.

It was so close to a famous victory, too, with hot favourite Point Lonsdale proving just half a length too good under Ryan Moore, who gave the Queen her biggest success when guiding Estimate to victory in the Gold Cup of 2013.

The Queen had briefly spoken with Moore ahead of the run of King’s Lynn in the Wokingham, where he was third.

She was later seen smiling and chatting as she was driven out of the racecourse.

The Queen talks to Frankie Dettori and John Gosden
The Queen talks to Frankie Dettori and John Gosden (Steven Paston/PA)

The Queen had arrived at the racecourse to applause and cheers in a beige car at 2pm wearing an Angela Kelly outfit, including a pleated mint coat and matching hat, with a pink and mint floral dress.

Punters like to bet on the colour of the Queen’s hat, and this year bookmakers had said the most popular predictions were blue and green due to the change in weather.

Nicola McGeady, of Ladbrokes, said: “Punters could finally enjoy a flutter on the colour of the Queen’s hat after waiting patiently for her arrival all week.

“Green was the colour that attracted the majority of bets, so plenty of punters have got the day off to a great start.”

The Queen’s eldest grandson Peter Phillips was also seen arriving earlier in the day.

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