As equestrian enthusiasts across the country converged on Cheltenham for the start of the horse racing festival on Tuesday, talk of the course was not the action on the track but rather the sight of Prince William and his pretty girlfriend, Kate Middleton.
Just back from a skiing holiday with friends in the Swiss resort of Zermatt, the loved-up pair seemed to be thoroughly enjoying their day out in the spring sunshine in the company of a group of friends, including William's cousin Zara Phillips. It was a rare appearance for the low-key couple who largely avoid appearing at high-profile public events together.
Buckinghamshire-born Kate, who works as a fashion buyer for high-street chain Jigsaw, looked the part in an elegant tweed suit, while William was every-inch the country gent in his tweed jacket and jumper combination. Both are known for their love of country pursuits, and are keen supporters of horse racing. Last year Kate attended the festival without William, who was still training with the military in Sandhurst, and so was doubtless thrilled to share the excitement this time round with her beau of three years.