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Why Prince William and Kate missed first day of Royal Ascot

The Prince and Princess of Wales did not join King Charles and Queen Camilla at the Berkshire racecourse on Tuesday

William and Kate at Royal Ascot in 2022
Danielle Stacey
Online Royal CorrespondentLondon
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The Prince and Princess of Wales were not among the guests for the opening day of Royal Ascot.

King Charles, 74, and Queen Camilla, 75, were joined at the races by the Princess Royal, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, Mike and Zara Tindall, and Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi. 

But there was a good reason for William and Kate's absence, as they both had engagements on Tuesday.

The Princess, 41, reopened the National Portrait Gallery in London, following an extensive three-year refurbishment. 

WATCH: See Princess Kate's sweet comment to young boy during museum visit

Kate, who wore a Self Portrait blazer dress for her outing, joined nursery children taking part in a Beatrix Potter-themed workshop as she learned about the Gallery's new Under 5's Programme.

The royal mum-of-three, also viewed the new Yevonde: Life and Colour exhibition. Kate, who studied History of Art at the University of St Andrews, became patron of the National Portrait Gallery in 2012.

Princess Kate at the National Portrait Gallery wearing a black and white outfit © Getty
The Princess of Wales channelled old-school Hollywood glamour in her bouclé blazer dress
Princess Kate talking to Paul McCartney © Getty
Princess Kate also met with Paul McCartney

Meanwhile, Prince William, who turns 41 on Wednesday, visited St George's Park, England's national football centre to meet with the England Women's team and wish them luck ahead of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup which is taking place across Australia and New Zealand in July.

In his role as President of the FA, William met England's Head Coach, Sarina Wigeman, to hear about the Lionesses' preparations for the tournament. The Prince also surprised the England manager by presenting her with her CBE during his visit.  

William presented England coach Sarina Wiegman with her CBE© Getty
William presented England coach Sarina Wiegman with her CBE
Prince William with the Lionesses© Getty
Prince William met with the Lionesses ahead of the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup

The royals' attendance at Royal Ascot is not usually announced in advance, so fans will have to keep their eyes peeled this week. 

Last year, William and Kate attended the fourth day of the races, with the Princess opting for elegant white and brown polka dot dress by Alessandra Rich, with Princess Diana's Diamond and South Sea Pearl earrings.

Kate Middleton wearing polka dot Alessandra Rich dress at Royal Ascot 2022© Getty
Kate wore a polka dot Alessandra Rich dress to last year's Royal Ascot

It's been a busy few days for the Prince and Princess of Wales, as they stepped out to celebrate the King's birthday parade – known as Trooping the Colour – in central London last Saturday.

Kate Middleton and Prince William waving© Getty
The Waleses on the palace balcony at Trooping the Colour

William joined his father Charles as they rode on horseback during the parade, alongside the Princess Royal and the Duke of Edinburgh.

Kate, who looked beautiful in a green Andrew Gn ensemble for the occasion, joined Queen Camilla in a carriage, alongside the Princess' three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.

Charles and William ride on horseback during Trooping the Colour© Getty
William riding on horseback with Charles

And on Monday, William and Kate were also among the royals to attend part in the Order of the Garter service at St George's Chapel in Windsor.

The Prince, wearing ceremonial vestments, joined the King and Queen in the procession, as he was invested as a Knight of the Garter in 2008.

Meanwhile, the Princess opted for a monochrome polka dot Alessandra Rich dress and a Philip Treacy hat, as she watched the event alongside the Duchess of Edinburgh.

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