Prince William and Kate Middleton make a surprise appearance at Royal Ascot

The royal couple made a surprise appearance at Ascot Racecourse

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have made a surprise appearance on day four of Royal Ascot, whilst the Queen remains at home.

RELATED: 13 of the royal family's memorable moments from Royal Ascot

MORE: 24 beautiful Ascot-appropriate dresses for a day at the races

Prince William and Kate travelled in the lead carriage in the traditional royal procession which kicks off before the races. They were joined by Arthur Vestey and his wife Martha. His late father, Lord Vestey, served as Master of the Horse to the Queen and would often ride in Her Majesty's carriage.

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WATCH: The royals attend Royal Ascot

Duchess Kate, 40, wore a stunning white polka dot dress by Alessandra Rich that featured a high neck with fluttering ruffle detailing, a belted waistline and long sleeves. With her timeless monochrome number, the beautiful royal looked as if she had just stepped off the set of My Fair Lady.

Duchess Kate looked splendid in polka dots

MORE: Princess Beatrice breaks royal ladies' Ascot tradition

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

The sophisticated royal styled her silky brunette tresses in a polished, tightly coiled low bun - revealing her radiant makeup look and some exquisite pearl drop earrings. She also slipped on a pair of nude heels to complete her mesmerising outfit.

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In terms of headwear, Kate unsurprisingly did not miss a beat. She sported a bronze woven hat with cascading white floral detail which shielded her face from the glaring British sunshine.  The royal greeted onlookers as she arrived by carriage with her husband.

Prince William and Kate waved at fellow racegoers

Meanwhile, Prince William looked dashing in black tails, a grey waistcoat, a top hat, a white shirt and a mid-blue tie. 

At one point, the Duchess of Cambridge was left open-mouthed with joy when she appeared to pick a Royal Ascot winner.

Kate looked chuffed to be at Royal Ascot

Kate looked at a guest in the royal box in shock after Perfect Power won the Commonwealth Cup, and William came over to his wife grinning.

Prince William and Kate during a trophy ceremony

The couple shared a few more glances before they disappeared, presumably for the royal to collect her winnings.

The royal couple were in the first carriage

The Queen's eldest grandson Peter Phillips took his seat in the second carriage alongside his girlfriend Lindsay Wallace as well as the Duke and Duchess of Bedford, while the Viscount and Viscountess Brookeborough travelled in the third carriage with Mr and Mrs Darby Dennis.

Prince William and Kate's attendance on the penultimate day of Royal Ascot comes as a surprise since the royal family usually make appearances in the first three days of the annual horse-racing event.

Prince William and Kate at Royal Ascot

Is the Queen likely to attend Royal Ascot 2022?

The Queen has not yet made an appearance at Royal Ascot this year, but there's no doubt she'll be eagerly following the races from home.

Peter Phillips was seen in the carriage procession with his girlfriend

The 96-year-old monarch is a keen equestrian and racegoer and events like Royal Ascot and the Royal Windsor Horse Show are highlights in her diary. But due to her episodic mobility issues, it's understood that the Queen has been enjoying the Berkshire races from the comfort of her house.

Prince Charles and Camilla attended days one and two of Royal Ascot this week, leading the royal procession by riding in the first carriage. They left an empty space in their carriage on both days as a sign of respect for Her Majesty who would normally be in attendance.

Lady Gabriella Windsor looked lovely in blue

Other members of the royal family who have stepped out this week include Prince Edward and Sophie, Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, Zara and Mike Tindall, and Princess Anne.

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