It was a gloriously sunny — albeit sweltering — day for the Royal Ascot on Friday, June 17, where Kate Middleton and Prince William made their debut at the annual Berkshire horse racing event. The Duchess and Duke of Cambridge were dressed to impress, as Kate stunned in an elegant black-and-white polka dot dress with a gorgeous matching hat, while William cut a sophisticated figure in his black top hat and tails. Unfortunately, Queen Elizabeth was unable to attend one of her favorite events for the fourth day in a row.
Kate and William waved to their adoring fans as they arrived in a horse-drawn carriage, leading the rest of the royal family in the extravagant processional. While turning heads in her fabulous frock, Kate dialed up the style with her accessories, including diamond earrings with tear-drop pearls. And although Royal Ascot officials relaxed the dress code a bit due to the overbearing heat — men were allowed to remove their jackets and ties! — William kept up appearances by keeping in his formal garb.
Even more attention grabbing was the fact that Kate’s dress channeled the late Princess Diana’s polka dot perfection at the 1988 Royal Ascot, as seen below. Interestingly, Kate wasn’t the only royal who chose to emulate the late icon, as Princess Diana’s own niece, Lady Amelia Spencer, rocked a modern take on the gown.
And do we spy an ode to Princess Diana's 1988 Royal Ascot outfit? The late Princess's niece, Lady Amelia Spencer, went for a modern take on the B&W polka dot look for this year's event. https://t.co/hK2lnVdM2z pic.twitter.com/JUmC1JFh8N
— Marie Claire (@marieclaire) June 17, 2022
The Queen, who reportedly hasn’t previously missed a Royal Ascot during her reign except for a pandemic-closed race in 2020, may still attend on the final day tomorrow, June 18. The Platinum Jubilee-celebrating monarch is often seen at the races cheering on her own horses, which have garnered her a whopping 24 wins in the past!
She was, however, able to release a statement at the start of the races on Tuesday, June 14, in which she welcomed attendees and tipped her hat to the addition of new oak trees by the racetrack planted in her honor. “I have been most grateful for the continued kindness shown to me by the racing community,” the statement read. “In my Platinum Jubilee year, I was interested to learn that in support of The Queen’s Green Canopy initiative, Ascot Racecourse and the Crown Estate have planted seventy oak trees in Windsor Great Park, each of which is linked to a local school.”