Peter Phillips and girlfriend Lindsay break royal tradition with Ascot appearance

The couple were pictured taking part in the carriage procession

Peter Phillips surprised fans with his appearance with his girlfriend Lindsay Wallace at Royal Ascot, alongside the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, on Friday.

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After Prince William and Kate Middleton arrived in the first royal carriage, Princess Anne's son was joined by his partner Lindsay, who looked lovely in pink, and the Duke and Duchess of Bedford in carriage two for the procession along the racecourse. 

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WATCH: Royals arrive for day one of the Royal Ascot

This appears to be a break from tradition since royal couples taking part in the carriage rides tend to be married – case in point, day one of Royal Ascot marked the first time that Princess Beatrice's husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi was part of the procession after the couple tied the knot in 2020.

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Although many of the royal family's partners have attended Ascot in former years, including Princess Eugenie's now-husband Jack Brooksbank and Prince Harry's former girlfriend Chelsy Davy, they have never joined in with the carriage procession.

The couple took part in the carriage procession on Friday

Perhaps the royal family has made an exception for Lindsay, who has already made several appearances at royal events with Peter following his split from his ex-wife Autumn Phillips in 2021.

She was spotted in a vibrant orange dress as she was pictured with Peter at Epsom Derby in June 2022, and she reportedly attended friend Zara Tindall's son Lucas' christening in 2021.

Peter joined Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla earlier in the week

Lindsay's appearance may also be the latest indication that royal traditions have changed over recent years. For example, the Queen rarely invites partners to stay at her Norfolk estate, Sandringham, for the royal Christmas gathering before marriage.

Kate didn't make her Christmas debut until 2011 after she had married William, and it was the same for Jack Brooksbank who appeared with his new wife Princess Eugenie in 2018. 

Peter and Lindsay attended Epsom Derby together in June 2022

Meghan Markle was believed to have become the first fiancée to spend Christmas with the royals in 2017, followed by Beatrice's then-fiance Edoardo, who attended the Christmas Day church service in 2019 seven months before they tied the knot.

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