Royal watchers have had a lot of their minds since the passing of Queen Elizabeth II on September 8th of last year. Following her lavish funeral, there was the spectacle of the coronation of King Charles III, her son, the former Prince of Wales. The event dripped with the sort of pomp and circumstance that only the British monarchy can deliver. Horse lovers got to take in the dozens of well-groomed equines marching down the Mall, among them four members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the famous Windsor Greys who were busy rehearsing right up until the big day.
Other changes have come during the Royal transition, such as the Royal Canadian Mint redesigning our coins to bear the portrait of Chuck, replacing his mum’s likeness. But for horseracing fans, the biggest change comes this summer when our nation’s fastest Thoroughbreds face off in what was known as the Queen’s Plate for the last 70 years. On August 20th the race will become the King’s Plate once again.
Woodbine Racetrack announced the name change last December. This year marks the 164th running of the $1 million Plate, which was won last year by a speedy mare named Moira. As reported in Canadian Thoroughbred, the race first ran in 1860 as the Queen’s Plate during the reign of Queen Victoria, changing to the King’s Plate from 1901 until 1951. The race is the first leg of the Canadian Triple Crown, followed by the Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie Race Track and the Breeders’ Stakes back at Woodbine.
There are currently no plans for King Charles and Queen Camilla to attend.