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Why the Queen will be celebrating at Windsor Castle today

It's the first time the monarch hasn't been able to attend Royal Ascot in her reign

Jenni McKnight

The Queen may not be in attendance at Royal Ascot – but we've no doubt she'll be celebrating at Windsor Castle after claiming a huge victory on Wednesday.

Her Majesty's horse Tactical was crowned a winner after scooping first place in the fittingly named race, the Windsor Castle Stakes. This is the Queen's 24th Royal Ascot winner – and her first since 2016!

READ: Chic hats, people-watching and excited chatter: what it's really like to attend Royal Ascot with the Queen

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The Queen's horse Tactical won at Royal Ascot on Wednesday

On Tuesday, the monarch sent a message of support to the organisers of Royal Ascot, as the annual racing event takes place behind closed doors due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. It marks the first time in her 68-year reign that she has been absent from the race meeting.

Her Majesty's letter was posted in the racecard from Royal Ascot in its digital format this year. The Queen wrote: "I send my best wishes to the thousands of racing professionals and enthusiasts who will join me in celebrating this year's Royal Ascot.

MORE: Royal Ascot: The best royal fashion looks from Kate Middleton, Sophie Wessex & more

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Her Majesty is watching Royal Ascot from Windsor Castle

"In these challenging times, we are once again delighted to welcome the best horses and jockeys from across the world and pay tribute to those who have helped make this race meeting possible. This year Ascot will feel different for many, as it is so often a chance for friends, families and colleagues to gather together and enjoy a shared passion.

"I am sure however, that with the valiant efforts of the organisers, owners, trainers and stable staff, it will remain one of Britain's finest sporting occasions and a highlight of the racing calendar. To everyone attending Royal Ascot, in person or virtually, I hope you have a most enjoyable and unique week of racing."

The Queen has a number of runners taking place in this week's races. As an owner, the monarch will have access to a virtual Royal Ascot parade ring to be able to view her horses from Windsor Castle, where she and the Duke of Edinburgh have been isolating since March.

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