Revealed: why there was a vacant seat opposite Prince Charles in the Royal Ascot carriage

The decision was intentional

The royals once again made a bold entrance as they took part in the spectacular carriage procession on the second day of Royal Ascot.

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

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall led the procession riding in the first carriage with Vice Admiral Sir Charles Anthony Johnstone-Burt, Master of the Household. Camilla was a vision in white in her V-neck fitted gown. She finished off her look with layers of pearls and a wide-brimmed asymmetric hat.

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WATCH: Royals arrive for day one of the Royal Ascot

Despite delighting fans with their presence, royal fans were quick to spot the vacant seat opposite Prince Charles. The reason was simple: the seat was intentionally left empty in honour of the Queen's absence.

READ: Royal Ascot's strict dress code - what royal ladies can wear

READ: Duchess Kate's mother Carole Middleton surprises as she wears same dress as daughter

Having battled numerous mobility struggles, the 96-year-old monarch once again missed Wednesday's Ascot proceedings. Although she was unable to attend, the Queen did make her presence known with a sweet message in the official programme which read: "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."

A seat was left vacant in honour of the Queen

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.

This isn't the first time Her Majesty has reluctantly had to cancel her royal engagements. Over the Platinum Jubilee weekend, the Queen opted to withdraw from Friday's service of thanksgiving held at St Paul's Cathedral, London. In a statement, Buckingham Palace said that Her Majesty "greatly enjoyed" her birthday parade and flypast, but "did experience some discomfort”.

Duchess Camilla wowed in her blue outfit on Tuesday

Whilst the monarch did manage to make a final appearance on the balcony to round off Sunday's Jubilee Pageant, she was aided by a walking stick and supported by members of her family. And on Monday, the Queen was pictured with her walking stick as she posed for a photograph alongside Prince Charles and Camilla to mark the Order of the Garter service.

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