The husband of Zara Tindall found himself entertaining Queen Elizabeth with a surprise trick during the opening day of Royal Ascot

By Stephanie Petit
June 19, 2019 10:39 AM

Mike Tindall is giving a whole new meaning to “hat trick!”

The husband of Princess Anne’s daughter, Zara Tindall, found himself entertaining his grandmother-in-law, Queen Elizabeth, during the opening day of Royal Ascot on Tuesday. After arriving in horse-drawn carriages, the royals caught up with each other near the race course — and it was then that the former rugby star showed the 93-year-old monarch what was hiding underneath his top hat.

With Sophie, Countess of Wessex and Princess Beatrice also looking on, Mike carefully removed his top hat and reached in. He unexpectedly pulled out a miniature hat resembling his own, earning a rare laugh from the famously unflappable Queen.

Sophie and Beatrice also cracked up at Mike’s “magic” trick as he placed the miniature head topper back into his top hat and returned it to his head.

There’s a sweet reason that Mike, 40, was in such a good mood: Tuesday marked the first birthday of his second daughter, Lena Elizabeth.

Many members of the royal family joined the Queen for Royal Ascot’s opening day, including Kate Middleton and Prince William. 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 race course, 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.

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

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.”

Royal Ascot Duchess of Cambridge (left) speaks to Zara Tindall
Kate Middleton and Zara Tindall
| Credit: Press Association via AP

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.”