The history books may record 2013 as the 60th anniversary of the coronation, but the tears of joy in the Queen’s eyes today left no doubt about the highlight of her year so far.
From The Telegraph
By Gordon Rayner
Her Majesty became the first reigning monarch to win the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot in the 207-year history of the race, as her four-year-old filly Estimate won by a neck in a thrilling finish.
The Queen clapped her hands with delight and beamed at her racing manager John Warren as Estimate crossed the line to make sporting history, while Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie jumped up and down with excitement in the royal box next to her.
The result also prompted wild scenes of celebration from a capacity crowd that had made Estimate the 7-2 favourite.
The Queen had been due to present the trophy to the winner of one of flat racing's most famous races, but instead her son the Duke of York had to step in to hand the cup to her.
The win was the Queen’s biggest since she won The Oaks at Epsom in 1977, and was tempered only by the absence of the Duke of Edinburgh, who was watching on TV at Windsor Castle where he is recovering from abdominal surgery.
Peter Phillips, the Queen's grandson, said: “It's been amazing, this is her passion, this is her life, every year she is here, every year she strives to have winners and to win the big one at Royal Ascot means so much to her and so much to her supporters.
“It's the culmination of a lot of investing in sport and to see this result is just brilliant.
“Sheikh Mohammed came down to congratulate her - racing people understand that these things don't happen every day and to have a win like this is truly, truly special.”
Mr Phillips, whose mother, the Princess Royal, accompanied the Queen to the winner's enclosure, said no-one had discussed the issue of who would present the trophy if the Queen won, as it might have brought bad luck.
“It definitely wasn't discussed beforehand,” he said. “There were a number of conversations going around about who would do it.”
A royal aide said the monarch was “thrilled to bits”, adding: “Royal Ascot is the highlight of her calendar and to win this race is the cherry on the cake.”
The bay horse, trained by Sir Michael Stoute, was placed fourth with five furlongs to go, but surged for the finish and held off a strong challenge from Simenon in the home straight of the two-and-a-half mile race.
Sir Michael said: “I really felt it was a seriously tough task for her, I couldn’t be confident at all with her taking on the boys and she can be a pain in the backside at times, but it's a great honour to win for Her Majesty the Queen. We know how much she loves this game.
“It's a special thrill for the Queen. She said it gave her great pleasure and she thanked everyone involved.”
Jockey Ryan Moore said: “All we had was this race in mind - it's great to ride any winner for the Queen but to do it in the Gold Cup is very special.
“We had a good draw and the pace wasn't mad at the beginning, she relaxed so well over the final furlongs.”
The win is the 22nd Ascot victory for the Queen, but is by far the biggest at the meeting. It comes with prize money of £155,960, which Her Majesty will distribute to Sir Michael, Mr Moore, grooms and others who had a hand in preparing the horse. Her Majesty did not make any more money out of the win, as she does not bet.