Prince William and Princess Kate were forced to miss the first day of Ascot for the most relatable reason

Prince William Kate Middleton
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Prince William and Princess Kate make news on the regular with their multiple public appearances and iconic fashion statements going viral each day.

A key staple of the Wales family's events calendar falls this week, with the Prince and Princess known to be a fixture at the first day of the Royal Ascot horse races. 

However the royal duo were noticeably absent from the opening procession on Tuesday, with King Charles and Queen Camilla instead joined in their carriage by Charles Wellesley, the Duke of Wellington and Princess Antonia, the Duchess of Wellington. 

Later, the King and Queen were also joined by Princess Anne, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, Mike and Zara Tindall, and Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi. 

The reason behind Prince William and Princess Kate's absence proves that royals are just like us, with the couple reportedly unable to attend because they were just too busy. 

Princess Kate spent the Tuesday reopening the National Portrait Gallery in London following its refurbishment, with the royal being the museum's patron since 2012.

"Sneak peek inside the refreshed and reopened National Portrait Gallery ✨," the Princess posted to Instagram. "Amazing to visit one of London’s best-loved art galleries and meet the people behind its three-year redevelopment. Thank you to all those involved."

While Prince William was busy at a separate royal engagement, meeting with the women's England football team, the Lionesses, ahead of the FIFA Women's World Cup.

"A fantastic visit to St George’s Park this afternoon to see the @lionesses ahead of the FIFA Women’s World Cup," the Prince posted to Instagram. "Was also a pleasure to surprise Sarina Wiegman with her Honorary C.B.E. 🎖️"

Despite their absence, the royals appeared to have a successful first day at Ascot and it is thought that the Prince and Princess of Wales might make a surprise appearance later in the week.

"We wish the very best of good fortune to all the owners, breeders, trainers, jockeys, and hardworking stable staff with runners this week," announced the King and Queen in a statement. "It is a huge and rare achievement to have a runner at Royal Ascot and we very much hope that you all enjoy the experience."

We will continue to update this story.

Jenny Proudfoot
Features Editor

Jenny Proudfoot is an award-winning journalist, specialising in lifestyle, culture, entertainment, international development and politics. She has worked at Marie Claire UK for seven years, rising from intern to Features Editor and is now the most published Marie Claire writer of all time. She was made a 30 under 30 award-winner last year and named a rising star in journalism by the Professional Publishers Association.