The annual event, a highlight on the British social calendar, has arrived, and with it comes hats, horses, and of course, lots of glamour

By Simon Perry
June 18, 2019 09:27 AM
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Kate Middleton and Prince William have arrived at one of the most anticipated events on their social calendar: Royal Ascot!

The royal couple joined Queen Elizabeth for the annual five-day horse race, which kicked off on Tuesday.

Princess Kate wore a cornflower blue dress with sheer sleeves by Elie Saab and a matching Philip Treacy hat with a flower detail as she and William joined Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall for their carriage ride during the processional onto the racecourse, which is a short distance from Windsor Castle.

Blue seemed to be the color of choice for several of the royal women, with the Queen, Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie and Zara Tindall all wearing various shades. Kate even accessorized her look with blue topaz and diamond drop earrings by Kiki McDonough.

The Duchess of Cambridge Royal Ascot Catherine
Credit: PA Images/Sipa
Royal Ascot Duchess of Cambridge Duchess of Cornwall Camilla Catherine
Kate Middleton and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall
| Credit: Press Association via AP
Catherine Duchess of Cambridge Royal Ascot
Kate Middleton
| Credit: Tim Rooke/Shutterstock

They royal parents of three were among the guests on the first day of the horse racing festival that the Queen, 93, attends every year with her family and friends.

The Queen, who wore a blue coat and matching flower hat by Angela Kelly, hosted King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands in her lead carriage that processed onto the course. Prince Andrew completed the foursome.

Queen Elizabeth II Royal Ascot
Queen Elizabeth
| Credit: PA Images/Sipa
Queen Elizabeth II and Queen Maxima Royal Ascot
Queen Elizabeth and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands
| Credit: James Veysey/Shutterstock

Also joining the Queen were her granddaughters Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, who were in the fourth carriage. The sisters shared the carriage with the Queen’s private secretary Edward Young and one of the Queen’s cousins Princess Alexandra. Eugenie’s husband of eight months, Jack Brooksbank, was not at the race.

Royal Ascot Princess Eugenie of York (left) and Princess Beatrice of York
Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice
| Credit: PA Images/Sipa
Princess Eugenie and Queen Elizabeth II Royal Ascot
Princess Beatrice and Queen Elizabeth
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On Monday, William and Kate stepped out for the grand Order of the Garter with the Queen and other senior members of the royal family at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.

In her welcoming remarks to racegoers in this year’s Royal Ascot program, the Queen calls the event “one of the sporting events that I have been fortunate to enjoy throughout my life.”

Princess Eugenie, Zara Phillips and Catherine Duchess of Cambridge Royal Ascot
Princess Eugenie, Zara Tindall and Kate Middleton
| Credit: James Veysey/Shutterstock
Zara Phillips and Catherine Duchess of Cambridge Royal Ascot
Zara Tindall and Kate Middleton
| Credit: James Veysey/Shutterstock

Signing it “Elizabeth R,” she adds that even though racing has been taking place there for more than 300 years, and “much has changed, the horses remain the stars, thrilling us with their beauty, brilliance and courage. The quality and the depth of competition at the Royal Meeting has also continued to prosper.”

Prince Charles and Prince William Royal Ascot
Prince Charles and Prince William
| Credit: James Veysey/Shutterstock

She adds, “The best horses and jockeys from across the globe are increasingly drawn to Royal Ascot, and it is truly exciting to welcome competitors from overseas, as strong international competition always adds further interest and fascination.”

Prince William and Catherine Duchess of Cambridge Royal Ascot
Prince William and Kate Middleton
| Credit: Tim Rooke/Shutterstock
Catherine Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William Royal Ascot
Kate Middleton and Prince William
| Credit: James Veysey/Shutterstock

Last year, Meghan Markle made her debut alongside husband Prince Harry. But she will not be attending this season as she’s on maternity leave after welcoming baby Archie last month.

The Duchess of Sussex made an appearance at Trooping the Colour earlier this month, however, as it’s a family occasion celebrating the Queen’s birthday.