Well, apologies again for being late to the party, but it’s been that kind of week…and it’ll be that kind of next week if we’re being really honest. HOWEVER, there’s no way I’m going to skip the opening day of Ascot, particularly when the Duchess of Sussex showed up for the first time, so let’s catch up!
Per tradition, the Royal Family attended first day of Ascot, the most famous (and British-y) of the horse races. The Queen, of course, is a keen horsewoman, as is her daughter, the Princess Royal, and her granddaughter, Zara Tindall.
Speaking of Zara, it was announced earlier today that she gave birth to her second child – a daughter – on Monday. Congratulations to the couple. When her first child, Mia, was born in January 2014 we were gifted photos via Hello so there’s a chance we’ll see some family shots in the near future.
Anyway, the carriage breakdown was shared ahead of time (see below). As they did last year, the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall shared a carriage with Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, which I continue to find interesting in light of the ongoing narrative that they’ve been boxed out of public roles thanks to his vision of a streamlined monarchy.
Last year, the Earl and Countess of Wessex shared a carriage with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, so it was nice to see the Sussexes take that position this year with Kate on maternity leave and William carrying out engagements elsewhere.
As with Trooping the Colour and, to a lesser extent, Garter Day, Ascot is usually a good time to see the RF gather together, which is always a bit more exciting than one-off engagements.
Also, the fashion is usually superb and always summery. Today, Meghan chose a long, white shirt-dress(-esque) number from Givenchy, lending further credence that the brand is truly becoming to her what Alexander McQueen is to Kate.
The black and white hat is designed by Philip Treacy and the entire look is definitely giving off My Fair Lady vibes. I’ve seen mixed reviews online, but I thought this worked. Meghan’s aesthetic definitely trends towards cuts and silhouettes that threaten to overwhelm her very petite frame, but it’s worth noting that Kate often gets criticized for wearing things too tight. So…this is balance, I guess? Anyway, yes, this did feel a tad on the long side, but not so much in my book that I disliked it. Throw in the hat, the delicate embroidery on the bodice and the backdrop of the venue and I feel comfortable calling this a win.
Harry and Meghan helped hand out trophies after the event and there was adorable moment in which one of the winners, an Italian jockey named Frankie Dettori, responded by elaborately kissing her hand while declaring meeting her the real win of the day. That level of courtliness makes me think he would have done just fine at Henry VIII’s court once upon a time 😉
And in other Sussex news – as has been rumored – Harry and Meghan will undergo a two-day mini-tour in Dublin on July 10 and 11. Can’t wait and it’ll be quite the pre-show – for them and us – ahead of this autumn’s massive four-country tour.
As for the other royals, the Queen looked cheerful and bright in yellow riding alongside her daughter.
Anne and Camilla both chose neutral enembles and I particularly liked Camilla’s seasonally-appropriate hat.
Beatrice wore Claire Mischevani, while Eugenie chose Osman and heels by Valentino.
Many were also quick to notice the obvious rapport between Meghan and Sophie, which was lovely to see. I’ve not seen details on who Sophie is wearing, but God I hope it wasn’t Emilia Wickstead. Post the designer making unkind remarks about Meghan’s wedding dress there’s been a call for other royal women to boycott the brand – and yet Sophie has chosen EW dresses for her last two big engagements, including Trooping. It certainly doesn’t look like Meghan is offended based on the smiles and I think it’s fair to say that there’s no use looking for strife where there is none. (That said, I am curious to see if Kate ever wears EW again.)
And with that I’ll sign off! If Meghan makes another appearance I’ll certainly try to capture it, otherwise I will do my best to sneak in a historical post or two in the next couple of day and look to cover William’s Middle Eastern tour next week. See you then!