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Romantic royals enjoy day at the races

March 16, 2006
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Zara Phillips has been keeping a relatively low profile in recent months, but racing fans will not have been surprised to see her cheering from the sidelines at the Cheltenham Festival on Thursday. The horse-mad royal, who last year agreed a deal to help attract more young people to the racecourse, was photographed snuggling up with her rugby playing boyfriend Mike Tindall as they watched the competition.

The 24-year-old was looking stylish in a brown trilby hat and full-length denim coat as she and her beau sipped champagne in the royal box. And they weren't the only loved-up couple turning heads on day three of the annual competition, because the pretty blonde's big brother Peter was also in attendance, along with his girlfriend Autumn Kelly.

The festival comes to its climax on Friday with over 75,000 people expected for the prestigious Gold Cup race. Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall will also be among the crowds enjoying the fun on the final day of the meeting.

Camilla has been chosen to present the trophy, in a decision seen as cementing her standing in the Royal Family. "I think it is a great honour and a great endorsement of the status of the festival and profile of the sport," said Cheltenham's boss Edward Gillespie. "We are thrilled - it is very much going to be the Duchess' day."

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Photo: ©
Mike and Zara arrive hand-in-hand for day three of the festival. Princess Anne's daughter is president of Club 16-24, which aims to attract more young people to the racecoursePhoto: © EMPICSy
Photo: ©
Peter Phillips was meanwhile accompanied by his girlfriend Autumn KellyPhoto: © EMPICS

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