Prince William always said he would do everything in his power to ensure that the Duchess of Cambridge's family wouldn't be sidelined.And the royal family are clearly making an effort to welcome their new in-laws.
Carole and Michael Middleton were invited to join the royal procession at Ascot this week, arriving at Ladies Day in a horse-drawn carriage. The couple rode with Fitri Hay, wife of horse owner Jim Hay, in a carriage proceeding the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh. As special guests of the monarch, Carole – who had chosen an elegant champagne-coloured Catherine Walker suit with matching hat – and her husband spent the afternoon in the royal box. There they mingled with the likes of Princess Anne– demure in a lavender-hued outfit - and Princess Beatrice, pretty in indigo. Kate's mum seemed to be thoroughly enjoying being a VIP guest and was smiling with excitement the whole day. Like the royal family, she also takes a keen interest in equestrian sports and is part of the eight-strong Pangfield Racing syndicate that owns a race horse called Sohraab. David Cameron's mother, Mary is also one of the owners. The sprinter – which Kate and her mum cheered on at Epsom Derby – is due to run on Saturday.
Sohraab has been given a 25-1 odds of winning the race – the Wokingham Handicap – making him an outsider. All members of the royal procession at Ascot begin the day with lunch at Windsor Castle. Then, they are taken by car to Watersplash Lane to change over into carriages and make their way to the Berkshire racecourse. Also invited to join the royal party was Sophie, Countess of Wessex's father Christopher Bournes Rhys-Jones. The widower is often a guest of the Queen at the race meet. Celebrities attending Ladies day, meanwhile, included Bruce Forsythe, footballer Michael Owen and Elizabeth Hurley.