Members of the public were invited to watch the race from grandstands on the shore and enjoy family-friendly activities along the seafront

By Erin Hill
August 08, 2019 09:08 AM

Kate Middleton and Prince William are setting sail!

The royal couple went head-to-head in a major sailing race on Thursday in support of several of their charitable causes. (The King’s Cup Regatta was originally scheduled for Friday, but due to forecasted bad weather in Cowes on the Isle of Wight, the race was moved up a day.)

Kate, 37, arrived wearing a striped multi-color shirt with nautical-inspired slacks casually paired with white sneakers, while William, also 37, stuck to his go-to look of a suit jacket over a button-up shirt sans tie. They then changed into matching outfits for the race — a white polo shirt with blue shorts. The royal mom also tied her hair into a ponytail, preventing her hair from providing a distraction during the competition.

The event also marked the couple’s first public appearance since returning from their family vacation in Mustique, where they spent Prince George‘s 6th birthday. They were both sporting tans from their tropical getaway. And to make the outing even more fun, they brought George and Princess Charlotte with them! The royal siblings, who rode in a boat with their grandparents, Mike and Carole Middleton, wore lifejackets (George also sported an adorable captain’s hat!) as they watched their parents’ race. Prince Louis, 1, was also on the Isle of Wight for the event, likely in the care of the family’s trusted nanny, Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo.

Peter Nicholls/PA Wire via AP
Prince George and Princess Charlotte
Kate Middleton
Chris Jackson/Getty
Prince William
Chris Jackson/Getty

Kate and William each acted as skippers of competing vessels — state-of-the-art Fast-40 boats — for the chance to win the King’s Cup, a historic trophy first presented by King George V at Cowes’ Royal Yacht Squadron in 1920.

Prince George
Karwai Tang/WireImage
Princess Charlotte (left)
Kate Middleton
PA Images/Sipa
Kate Middleton
Tim Rooke/Shutterstock

Eight boats took part in the race, each representing a charity being supported by the royals. This year, Kate’s four charities that were represented are Action on Addiction, Place2Be, the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, and The Royal Foundation. Child Bereavement UK, Centrepoint, the London Air Ambulance Charity 30th Anniversary Campaign, and Tusk, four causes for which William is a patron, also competed. Tusk Trust, with Bear Grylls at the helm, won the first race, with Prince William coming in third and Kate placing seventh. William’s team came in fifth during the second race, while Kate’s team was disqualified for starting too early.

Peter Nicholls/PA Wire via AP
Kensington Royal/Twitter

Members of the public were invited to watch the race from grandstands on the shore and enjoy family-friendly activities along the seafront.

Kate Middleton and Prince William
Trevor Adams/Matrix/MediaPunch
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The sporty couple are longtime advocates for being active, highlighting how sports, nature and being outdoors can improve physical and mental well-being.

And they’re not opposed to some friendly competition. While visiting Northern Ireland in March, Kate and William faced off against each other in a canoe race, where William’s boat clinched the victory. Despite falling short, the royal mom flashed a big smile while wearing her helmet and holding her paddle.