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Queen Camilla’s wide-brimmed hat obstructs Zara and Mike Tindall as they attempt to greet her with a kiss at Royal Ascot.

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Queen Camilla's wide-brimmed hat obstructs Zara and Mike Tindall as they attempt to greet her with a kiss at Royal Ascot.

The Queen looked effortlessly elegant as she joined the King and other Royal Family members at the first day of Royal Ascot today.

 

 

However, Camilla, 76, perhaps came to regret the wide-brimmed hat she wore alongside her matching vibrant blue dress for the carriage procession at the Berkshire racecourse.

Thanks to the statement headpiece, it proved difficult for the King’s niece, Zara Tindall, 43, and her former rugby ace husband Mike, 45, to smoothly greet the Queen with a kiss.

The Queen looked effortlessly elegant as she joined the King and other Royal Family members at the first day of Royal Ascot today.

However, Camilla, 76, perhaps came to regret the wide-brimmed hat she wore alongside her matching vibrant blue dress for the carriage procession at the Berkshire racecourse.

Thanks to the statement headpiece, it proved difficult for the King’s niece, Zara Tindall, 43, and her former rugby ace husband Mike, 45, to smoothly greet the Queen with a kiss.

Royal Ascot 2023 was their first as King and Queen, and the couple – who took on Queen Elizabeth II’s thoroughbreds – watched as their horse Desert Hero won the King George V Stakes, their first winner at the famous meet as owners.

The late Queen was a passionate owner and breeder of thoroughbreds, and had more than 20 Royal Ascot winners during her 70-year reign.

Writing jointly in the official programme, Charles and Camilla said: ‘It gave us immense pleasure and joy to witness Desert Hero’s victory in the King George V Stakes last year, particularly as he was bred by Her late Majesty.

‘We wish all the participants this week the very best of luck in seeking that unique thrill of a Royal Ascot winner.

‘We also hope that those here at the racecourse and watching from home will enjoy five days of the finest racing that this sport has to offer.’

Punters dressed in stunning hats, summer dresses and smart suits will cheer on the riders over the next five days at the Berkshire race course.

It was founded by Queen Anne in 1711 after she declared Ascot ideal for ‘horses to gallop at full stretch’ and has today become a major social event as well as a sporting attraction.

The carriage procession that heralded the start of racing took place in brilliant summer sunshine.

The King and Queen were joined in their carriage by Charles Wellesley, the 9th Duke of Wellington who carried Queen Mary’s Crown at the coronation before Camilla was crowned, and his wife the duchess.

They were followed by the Princess Royal who travelled with her son Peter Phillips, Lady Gabriella Kingston, the daughter of Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, and Charles and Camilla’s racing manager John Warren.

In the third coach was Camilla’s sister Annabel Elliot, her son Sir Ben Elliot, former co-chair of the Conservative Party knighted in Boris Johnson’s resignation honours list who is married to the daughter of musician Steve Winwood, and the Earl and Countess of Halifax.

In the final coach was Sir Johnny Weatherby, the racehorse owner and breeder and formerly the late Queen’s representative at Ascot from 2011 to 2020, and racehorse trainer Ralph Beckett and his wife.

Lady Gabriella’s outing to Royal Ascot marked her first official public appearance since the tragic death of her husband, Thomas Kingston, in February.

The event will be particularly poignant for the daughter of Prince and Princess Michael of Kent as she attended the society race event last year with her late husband.

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