Why royal ladies always sit in the back seats of Royal Ascot carriages

The annual equestrian event is back for this year

The royal family were out in force on Tuesday to attend the opening day of Royal Ascot, and one of the highlights of the annual racing event is no doubt the glorious carriage procession that kicks off proceedings.

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Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall led the procession riding in the first carriage with Peter Phillips on Tuesday, followed by the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester and Prince and Princess Michael of Kent in the second carriage. Princess Anne and other notable VIP guests rode in the third carriage. 

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WATCH: Royals arrive for day one of Ascot

Royal watchers may have noticed that the ladies all had forward-facing seats in their carriage and there's a very simple reason; the back seats have a better view of the crowds and the racecourse as they enter the enclosure. They also tend to be photographed more clearly.

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In the case of royals riding with non-royals, the Queen and her family would take precedence and would again be given the forward-facing seats.

The royals tend to be photographed more clearly in the forward-facing seats

Members of the royal family typically step out in force for Royal Ascot - although the Queen, who suffers from mobility issues and uses a walking stick, did not make an appearance on opening day. She did, however, write a message in the official programme.

"After the challenges of recent times, this year's royal meeting provides a long-awaited opportunity for supporters of racing from all over the world to come together for five days of outstanding sport," she penned.

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"Once again, it is thrilling that horses from around the globe have travelled to Royal Ascot to compete at the highest level."

They also have a better view as they enter the enclosure

The Queen has more than ten horses entered over the five days of the event and, with her Windsor Castle home just a 15-minute drive away, there is still some hope that she will attend during the week.

Among the royals in attendance at Tuesday's event were Princess Beatrice and her husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi; the Queen's granddaughter amusingly quipped "I'll be here all day" when a throng of photographers descended on the couple as they arrived at the Berkshire racecourse. 

Prince Charles and Camilla at Tuesday's races

Talented equestrian Zara Tindall and her husband Mike also made an appearance, as did the Countess of Wessex who looked stunning in blush pink.

After the procession, the royals were able to enjoy proceedings from the Royal Enclosure and were pictured chatting and laughing.

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