Camilla lead royals at Ascot after Queen pulls out at 11th hour after Garter service

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CAMILLA, the Duchess of Cornwall, and Prince Charles led the royals at Ascot today in the absence of the Queen as the monarch pulled out at the last-minute.

The head of state has more than 10 horses entered over the five days of the event and, with her Berkshire home just a 15-minute drive away, there is still faint hope she will attend during the week.

Writing in the official Royal Ascot programme, the Queen described the prospect of the world’s premiere thoroughbreds competing in Berkshire as “thrilling”.

She said: “After the challenges of recent times, this year’s royal meeting provides a long-awaited opportunity for supporters of racing from all over the world to come together for five days of outstanding sport.

Camilla and Prince Charles at Royal Ascot`

Camilla and Prince Charles at Royal Ascot (Image: Getty)

Camilla and Prince Charles at Royal Ascot

Camilla and Prince Charles at Royal Ascot (Image: Getty)

Hollie Doyle on horse Bradsell wins Coventry Stakes racing during Royal Ascot 2022

Hollie Doyle on horse Bradsell wins Coventry Stakes racing during Royal Ascot 2022 (Image: Getty)

“Once again, it is thrilling that horses from around the globe have travelled to Royal Ascot to compete at the highest level.”

The Queen’s horse Reach For The Moon, which missed out on being entered for the Epsom Derby, is favourite with some bookies to win the Hampton Court Stakes on Thursday with jockey Frankie Dettori taking the reins.

The royal family were out in force for their day at the races with Charles and Camilla joined by the Countess of Wessex, the Princess Royal and her children Peter Phillips and Zara, with her husband former England rugby star Mike Tindall.

Princess Beatrice and her husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi walked through the gates to the course with the other punters and were surrounded by photographers before making their way into an exclusive area.

Camilla and Prince Charles at Royal Ascot

Camilla and Prince Charles at Royal Ascot (Image: Getty)

Royal Ascot

Royal Ascot 2022 (Image: Getty)

Royal Ascot

Royal Ascot (Image: Getty)

The royal party mingled in the parade ring before racing began and Charles was spotted kissing his relatives and catching up with guests including Beatrice’s husband.

Other racegoers photographed among the crowds included the Duchess of Cambridge’s parents Carole and Michael Middleton.

Later in the royal box, Charles and Camilla stood clutching official programmes as they watched the racing from a balcony with Sophie, and they both looked through binoculars as they followed the horses around the course.

Source: EXPRESS CO UK

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