Where To Spot A Royal
THE ROYAL WINDSOR HORSE SHOW: 9-13 May
This year marks the 75th anniversary of this equine extravaganza, in the private grounds of Windsor Castle. No one enjoys a horse show more than Her Majesty, who has attended every year since 1943 and usually walks among the crowds. This is the only occasion during which these grounds are opened to the public, who come to watch show jumping, dressage and endurance events. Taking place a few days before Harry and Meghan’s wedding, this year’s show is sure to produce excitable crowds.
RHS CHELSEA FLOWER SHOW: 22-26 May
Each year the royal family attends this highlight of the Royal Horticultural Society’s calendar, which takes place in the grounds of London’s Royal Hospital Chelsea. Visitors can’t move for bumping into a royal or two; in 2017 the Queen, Duke of Edinburgh and Duchess of Cambridge were all in attendance – plus thespian queen Dame Judi Dench. The competition element sees a range of specially designed gardens battle it out for a medal.
BEATING RETREAT: 6-7 June
A chance to witness the military clout of Queen Elizabeth’s personal troops, the Household Division’s annual event combines music, regimental drills, cannons and reworks. Beating Retreat forms a part of the Queen’s official birthday celebrations and the salute is always taken by a member of the royal family. It takes place across two evenings on Horse Guards Parade and marks the 400-year-old military practice of beating drums to call troops back from battle at nightfall.
TROOPING THE COLOUR: 9 June
Two days later the Household Division pulls o another spectacle on Horse Guards Parade, attended by most of the royal family, including Prince Harry. The stars of this daytime ceremony are the regimental flags, known in the British Army as ‘Colours’, which are paraded from Buckingham Palace to Whitehall and back by more than 1,400 officers, 200 horses and 400 musicians. The ceremony culminates with the Royal Air Force flying over Buckingham Palace – and Prince George (probably) poking out his tongue. Spectators can pick a spot along The Mall or St James’s Park from 9am, or enter a ballot to buy seats on Horse Guards Parade.
ROYAL ASCOT: 19-23 June
The annual Royal Ascot gathering of tremendous hats is a sure- re chance to spot a royal: the Queen usually attends each day – in 2017 she was joined by family members including Prince Philip, Prince Charles, Prince William and Kate and Princesses Anne, Beatrice and Eugenie. There’s a daily Royal Procession, a strict dress code and enough horseracing action to keep Her Majesty smiling.
WIMBLEDON CHAMPIONSHIPS: 2-15 July
In 2016, the Queen passed on her patronage of some organisations to other members of the royal family, including the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club at Wimbledon. You’re unlikely to see her at this famous tennis tournament, but the Duchess of Cambridge will probably attend – last year she was joined by Prince William. Try to arrive as early as possible on the day and queue for tickets, or you could try the public ballotfor next year’s tickets (open 1 Sep-31 Dec).
THE ROYAL INTERNATIONAL AIR TATTOO: 13-15 July
The royal family loves a tattoo – we’re talking about the very British definition, of course: an entertaining combination of music and military displays. Royal sightings are highly likely this summer at RAF Fairford, given that it’s the Royal Air Force’s centenary year.
THE BRAEMAR GATHERING: 1 September
In the heart of Scotland’s Cairngorms National Park, you’ll find the Princess Royal and Duke of Fife Memorial Park in Braemar. Boasting a 900-year history, this event sees the Braemar Royal Highland Society gather to celebrate the monarch as its Chieftan. It’s regularly attended by the Queen and the royal family, who celebrate Highland culture including pipe bands, caber tossing (kilt-clad men throwing entire tree trunks as far as possible) and hill racing.
THE WEDDING OF PRINCESS EUGENIE AND JACK BROOKSBANK: 12 October
Hot on the heels of her cousin Harry comes Eugenie, ninth in line to the British throne. The princess and fiancé Jack will also marry at St George’s Chapel next to Windsor Castle, with family in attendance.
Visit www.royal.uk/future-engagements, a database of official engagements being undertaken by members of the royal family. It’s updated up to eight weeks in advance and you can even use the filter to find your favourite royals.