Queen Elizabeth is "most grateful for the continued kindness" of the horse racing community.
The 96-year-old monarch pulled out of attending the first day of Royal Ascot on Tuesday (14.06.22) due to her ongoing health issues, but admitted she was delighted the race meeting is finally back to full capacity after being blighted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Writing in the Royal Ascot 2022 programme, the queen - who has 10 horses running across the five-day event and may still attend later in the week - said: “I am delighted to welcome you to the first Royal Ascot with full attendance since 2019.
“After the challenges of recent times, this year’s royal meeting provides a long-awaited opportunity for supporters of racing from all over the world to come together for five days of outstanding sport.
“Once again, it is thrilling that horses from around the globe have travelled to Royal Ascot to compete at the highest level.
“I have been most grateful for the continued kindness shown to me by the racing community.
“In my Platinum Jubilee year, I was interested to learn that in support of the Queen’s Green Canopy initiative, Ascot Racecourse and the Crown Estate have planted seventy oak trees in Windsor Great Park, each of which is linked to a local school.
“I hope you all have a memorable and enjoyable time, and I wish connections of the horses running this week the very best of luck.”
With the queen absent from proceedings on Tuesday, her son Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, led the royal party in the traditional procession, sharing the first carriage with Peter Philips, the monarch's eldest grandchild.
They were followed by Peter's mother, Princess Anne, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, and Prince and Princess Michael of Kent.
Princess Beatrice and her husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi were also in attendance but not part of the procession, instead walking through the gates with other racegoers.
Zara and Mike Tindall also attended the event, as did the Countess of Wessex, and the Duchess of Cambridge's parents, Carole and Michael Middleton.