Rumours had begun to circulate on Twitter yesterday regarding the possibility of the royal couple attending the event but we were all doubtful because it has been five years since we saw Kate at the racing festival (surprising in itself, possibly due to the large media presence?) which is quite popular with the royals. We've seen Zara Phillips and Pippa Middleton in attendance earlier this week.
The Cambridges arrived just in time to cheer on Mike Tindall's horse, Monbeg Dude who participated in the Gold Cup Steeple Chase.
Despite the dismal weather conditions the Duke and Duchess appeared to be enjoying themselves.
Are many of you familiar with the festival? If not, I thought it would be interesting to share a little background information. The first flat race meeting in Cheltenham took place in 1815 on Nottingham Hill, with the first races on Cleeve Hill in August 1818. Racing's popularity soared over the next decade with crowds of 30,000 visiting the Racecourse for its annual two day July meeting featuring the Gold Cup, a 3 mile race. In 1964, Racecourse Holdings Trust (now Jockey Club Racecourse) was formed to secure the future of Cheltenham.
During 2003-2004 £10 million was invested in the Best Mate Enclosure in the centre of the racecourse, giving a new grandstand which has proven to provide one of the best views of racing. The following year, 2005, the festival was extended to four days. Champion Day, Ladies Day, St Patrick's Thursday and Cheltenham Gold Cup Day.
Racegoers enjoying St. Patrick's Thursday :)
|Cheltenham Official Facebook Page|
The couple were in The Royal Box and enjoyed chatting with fellow racegoers. I love this shot of Kate!
In the earlier years of William and Kate's courtship, Cheltenham was one of the few events where we regularly saw Kate and she wore many beautiful pieces to the event over the years such as the Katherine Hooker coat she wore in 2006 and later had shortened for an Anglesey engagement in 2011. I much prefer the shorter length, what do you think?
In 2007, Kate opted for a Katherine Hooker piece again, this time the exquisite 'Alexander' jacket. Combined with the beret and scarf, the whole look was effortlessly chic and one of my personal favourites. Kate appeared to be having a smashing time at the races.
We last saw Kate at Cheltenham in 2008 wearing her Ted Baker trench coat.
Kate elected to wear a dusky pink coat by Joseph today. At first I didn't recognise the piece as one Kate has worn before until Julie and Michelle over at WKW FB pointed out it is a piece that has been in her wardrobe since at least 2009. Many of you correctly pointed out the buttons had been moved allowing more room but unfortunately the markings are very obvious. It's quite a sixties look I've said it many times before, Kate has a fantastic collection of coats.
|Inside a Princess' Wardrobe Pinterest|
We didn't see much of Kate's dress underneath but from what I could see the print looks identical to her animal print MaxMara dress although it's significantly shorter. It's possible she rolled the dress up?
Kate wore her Stuart Weizman 'Zipkin' Boots with brown tights. The boots are currently reduced in black at Zappos from $635 to $445.
The Duchess recycled her brown 'Betty Boop' by Lock & Co. As most of you will remember Kate wore the hat at the Swiss wedding of friends earlier this month. I quite like it, it's not too big and the colour works very well with the colour of the coat.
Kate wore a gorgeous pair of Kiki McDonough Eternal Citrine Cushion & Diamond Earrings (with many thanks to WKW FB friend Cherry). We haven't seen Kate wearing them before. Perhaps they were a Christmas or Birthday gift? The £1,200 yellow gold drop earrings are described as "sophisticated and chic, these beautiful earrings dazzle with vibrant citrine and diamonds."
|Splash News/Kiki McDonough|
The Duchess carried her brown suede Emmy Shoes 'Natasha' clutch and wore a pair of chocolate brown Cornelia James Bow Gloves. They're available in an array of colours for £52. Once again Kate opted to wear the gold ruby ring she's been sporting frequently recently.
It was lovely to see William and Kate out and about today!
Another engagement has been added to Kate's diary today! On March 22nd the Duchess of Cambridge will visit Great Tower Scout Camp in Cumbria. Kate is a member of the Scout Association and a trained volunteer leader, during the visit she will join the scouts for an outdoor cooking session and tree climbing (yes tree climbing :)).
|Youth Group Accommodation|
More on the engagement from Majesty Magazine:
'The Duchess will visit Great Tower to view a training event for 24 adult volunteers. These adults are working either with Beaver Scouts (6-8 yrs) or Club Scouts (8-10 yrs). The training course is being run at Great Tower, one of The Scout Association's national activity centres and located in the Lake District Park. The centre is set in 250 acres. It offers a wide range of both land and water based activities.'
Kate is very athletic and loves the outdoors and working with children, so I have always felt working with the scouts was important to her.
It's shaping up to be a very busy week for the Duchess with three engagements within the next week: on Sunday she will attend a St. Patrick's Day parade in Aldershot; on Tuesday she's visiting Child Bereavement UK; and next Friday she's in Cumbria with the scouts.
The first feature length royal documentary in more than twenty years about the Queen will air on ITV on Sunday 17 March at 8 pm. 'Our Queen' features unique access during the Diamond Jubilee year to members of the Royal Family, to Her Majesty's staff, to her Prime Minister, David Cameron, and to her residences.
I believe William and Kate were not interviewed for the documentary, but are featured talking to boxer Anthony Ogogo during the London 2012 games about scrabble....
|Gordon Rayner Twitter|
For those of you outside the UK, I expect the documentary will appear on YouTube.
See you all on Sunday :)