Her husband Prince Philip is recovering at home after being discharged from hospital, but the Queen is determined to stick rigorously to her schedule.
The monarch attended Royal Ascot, one of her favourite events of the year, without her husband for the second day running with Prince Andrew stepping up to accompany her in the traditional carriage procession.
Her Majesty was resplendent in a fuchsia coat and hat, showing no signs of fatigue after a busy two days that saw her attend the State Opening of Parliament yesterday, before nipping back to Windsor to host a lunch and make it to Ascot in time for the first race.
Today, she was back again to present the prestigious Gold Cup, won by Big Orange who held off a late charge by defending champion Order of St George to win a thrilling edition of the feature race.
The winner’s jockey James Doyle took the plaudits for a superb ride, but his heart went out to Italian star Frankie Dettori, who should have been riding him but for an injured arm that ruled him out of the meeting.
Despite the absence of her husband, the lifelong racing fan looked to be in her element, and beamed happily as she presented a prize to James Doyle.
Also in attendance this afternoon were her granddaughter’s Beatrice and Eugenie who were equally fresh-faced after attending last night’s V&A summer party.
Beatrice sported a blue dress and wore her hair in a braid beneath her black and white picture hat by milliner Nerida Fraiman, while her sister looked striking in fiery red.
The Queen, who is a life-long horse breeder has a runner – Maths Prize – in the Britannia Stakes, which could give the monarch her 24th Royal Ascot winner.
But the royals were no doubt disappointed to be enjoying the afternoon without the Duke of Edinburgh who left hospital this morning after being treated for an infection which forced him to miss the State Opening of Parliament and Royal Ascot.
The 96-year-old spent the last two nights King Edward VII’s Hospital in London after suffering from an infection triggered by a ‘pre-existing condition’.
The Duke, who was admitted on the advice of a doctor, left from the rear of the private hospital just before 10am today and was driven away.
The setback – which came amid a schedule of engagements that would challenge a man half his age – forced the Duke to miss the State Opening of Parliament and some of Royal Ascot.
Tags: Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie, Zara Tindall, Mike Tindall, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Edward, Ascot Day 3, Ascot Day, Royal Ascot Day, British Royals