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Why Prince William and Kate didn't attend the first day of Royal Ascot

The Cambridges usually make an appearance at the races

prince william and kate at ascot blue dress
Ainhoa Barcelona
Ainhoa BarcelonaContent Managing Editor
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Members of the royal family were out in force to attend the opening day of Royal Ascot 2022 on Tuesday, but one couple who were notably absent were the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Prince William and Kate usually make an appearance at some point during the equestrian event, riding in the carriage procession as guests of honour before the races kick off.

READ: Why royal ladies are always given the back seats on Ascot carriages

WATCH: Princess Beatrice and royal family attend day one of Royal Ascot

But spectators who may have been hoping to see the Cambridges on day one of the event will have missed them, as the Duke and Duchess were back in London carrying out a poignant engagement.

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The royals were marking the fifth anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire by attending a multi-faith service at the west London site on Tuesday afternoon.

kate middleton and prince william grenfell© Photo: Getty Images

Kate and William were attending a Grenfell memorial service in London

Ahead of the memorial, they met privately with survivors of the fire and those who lost loved ones. A total of 72 people were killed during the blaze in June 2017.

After the private meeting, William and Kate joined the congregation at the foot of Grenfell Tower for the moving service that included prayers, readings and choir performances.

prince charles and camilla ascot carriage

Prince Charles and Camilla attended day one of Royal Ascot

At the end of the memorial, they were invited to lay wreaths and flowers to pay tribute to those who lost their lives.

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The service was organised by Grenfell United, an organisation that works to provide pastoral care for those affected and advocates for families to ensure that such a tragic event is not repeated.

royals chatting at ascot 2022

Princess Beatrice and Zara Tindall also made up the royal party

The organisation previously held memorial services outside the Tower site in 2018 and 2019 and during the pandemic it facilitated individual visits to the site for the bereaved and survivors to lay flowers and take time to pay their respects.

While William and Kate remained in London, other members of the royal family descended on the Berkshire racecourse. They included Prince Charles and Camilla, who led the procession riding in the first carriage, Princess Anne, Peter Phillips, Zara and Mike Tindall, the Countess of Wessex, and Princess Beatrice and her husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi.

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