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Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness Prince Philip the Duke of Edinburgh watch the races from the Royal Box at Woodbine
The 151st running of the Queen's Plate was made even more memorable by the royal visit ofHer Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. It was the current monarch's fourth visit to Woodbine for the Plate, after visits in 1959, 1973, and 1997. The first reigning monarchs to attend the race were her parents, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (later the Queen Mother), who traveled to Toronto for the 1939 Plate, run at Old Woodbine (later Greenwood). The same landau used that day was ridden down the stretch by the current Queen on Sunday.
The Queen's Plate was started when officials in Upper Canada (later known as Ontario) petitioned Queen Victoria for prize money for a horse race. She offered 50 guineas, which have been awarded to the owners of every Plate winner Don Juan in 1860. Normally this comes in the form of a bank draft from the Royal Privy Purse, however, when a member of the Royal Family is in attendance, the winning owner is given a purse containing 50 gold sovereigns.
The royal procession as the Queen arrives with the Toronto Mounted Police and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police escorting the landau carriage.
|The royal landau carriage.
|Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip wave to the fans from the landau.
|Woodbine Chairman David Willmot escorts Queen Elizabeth II after she gets off the carriage. The little girl in the foreground presented her with the bouquet of flowers.
|The was the closest I got to the Queen, she was only about 10 feet away here and looked right at me and the rest of the photographers.
|The Queen did a walk through of the paddock meeting the owners of the Queen's Plate horses. Here she inspects the favorite Mobilizer whose sire Motivator stands at the Royal Studs in Sandringham, which is owned by the Queen.
|The Queen meets Mobilizer's trainer Roger Attfield (bowing) and owner Frank Stronach.
|The Queen leaves the royal box to go over for the Queen's Plate trophy presentation escorted again by David Willmot.
|The Queen presents the trophy to owner Dom Romeo and jockey Eurico Rosa Da Silva.
|The Canadian Tenors performed twice. They sang "O Canada" before the Queen arrived and "The Maple Leaf Forever" during the post parade for the Queen's Plate. From left to right they are Victor Micallef, Fraser Walters, Remigio Pereira, and Clifton Murray.
|The Toronto Police Pipe Band performed several times during the day.
|The horses return after the Highlander Stakes and the stands are already pretty full since the Queen arrived after the next race. We were told by fans on the apron that by 11:00am all general admission seating in the grandstand was full.
|The stands were packed to the rafters as the crowd waits for the start of the Queen's Plate. Attendance was estimated at 30,000 since general admission was free and wasn't counted. They did sell out all the reserved seats.
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