the kings plate toronto woodbine

A major Toronto sporting event just changed its name because the Queen died

A Toronto sporting event dating back over 160 years has officially changed its name for the first time in seven decades.

One day shy of three months since the death of Queen Elizabeth II, and five months less a day to the coronation of her son and successor, Charles III, Woodbine Entertainment has announced that The Queen's Plate — North America's longest continuously run stakes race — has reverted to its previous name of The King's Plate.

Woodbine Entertainment announced the name change early Wednesday morning, stating that the popular race event will take place on Sunday, August 20, 2023 under The King's Plate title for the first time since 1952.

The move follows the September 2022 accession of King Charles III to the British throne, reverting to a name the event last held during the reign of Kings George V, Edward VIII, and George VI from 1901 to 1952. Prior to the succession of Edward VII in 1901, the event was also known as The Queen's Plate.

A new monarch means big changes for Canadian society, from the eventual introduction of new currency bearing the face of Charles III to the creation of a new Royal insignia to be used in official government capacity.

But during the 70 years of Queen Elizabeth's reign over a shrinking British empire, we named a heck of a lot of things after the monarch, leaving many institutions forced to scramble to revise their identities to reflect the start of a new era for the monarchy.

The now-King's Plate is just one such example, though luckily, the prestigious $1 million-stakes race — historically named in honour of the current reigning monarch — was given plenty of time (almost 11 months) to prepare for a renaming in time for its 164th running next August.

"The Plate is one of the most celebrated events in horse racing, and we're proud to celebrate its history while starting a new chapter under the banner of The King's Plate," said Jim Lawson, CEO, Woodbine Entertainment.

Though the event's name has changed, Woodbine plans to honour the late Queen Elizabeth II in 2023, recognizing "her contributions and support of the event and Thoroughbred horse racing in Canada for the last 70 years."

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