SUPPORT OUR JOURNALISM: Please consider donating to keep our website running and free for all - thank you!

The Cambridges

The Cambridges lead royal procession on day Ascot relaxes its rules

Stephen Lock/ i-Images

Amid a heatwave, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge made their 2022 Royal Ascot debut as they led the Royal Family in a procession at the iconic horse race.

The Duke was dressed in a top hat and tailcoat, while the Duchess opted for a polka dot dress by Alessandra Rich. She paired the dress with a hat featuring floral details by Sally-Ann Provan. To top off the look, the Duchess wore South-Sea pearl earrings that once belonged to Diana, Princess of Wales. The late Princess was known to wear the jewels on many occasions during the 1990s.

Joining the Duke and Duchess in their carriage was William Vestey, the current Lord Vestey, and his wife, Violet. William Vestey inherited the title when his father, who was a close friend of The Queen, died amid the global health crisis in February 2021 – just nine weeks after his wife had passed away.

The royal procession also included William’s cousin and The Princess Royal’s son, Peter Phillips, who attended with his new girlfriend, Lindsay Wallace. This isn’t the first horserace this summer for the new couple. Lindsay made her royal debut at the Derby during The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Weekend.

Besides who was winning and losing on the track, the big topic of the day was the sweltering heat as temperatures hit the mid-30s. Because of the heat, the dress code became more relaxed. Following the royal procession, men were allowed to remove their jackets and ties. This was the first time men have been able to go without a tie at the event. All spectators were also allowed to bring water and soft drinks into the arena.

However, there were some dress code rules still in place. All racegoers had to arrive at the course in full attire of jackets and ties. In the royal enclosure, this means a top hat, vest or waistcoat, and a tailcoat. Women still had to wear hats and make sure their dresses were of modest length.

The Queen is known for her love of horses and has attended every single Royal Ascot for the last seven decades. It is unknown if she will make an appearance this year.

About author

My name is Sydney Zatz and I am a University of Iowa graduate. I graduated with a degree in journalism and sports studies, and a minor in sport and recreation management. A highlight of my college career was getting the chance to study abroad in London and experiencing royal history firsthand. I have a passion for royals, royal history, and journalism, which led me to want to write for Royal Central.