Prince Harry donned a silk top hat for a special date Tuesday when he joined his grandmother Queen Elizabeth at the Royal Ascot races.
During the 88-year-old Queen's annual social milestone, she holds court at nearby Windsor Castle and leads most members of her family to the races in each of the five days of competition.
And perhaps because it was Harry's first time at the event, bystanders said there was a noticeable buzz in the parade ring when the carriages entered.
An early glimpse of Harry, in a long tailcoat, came as the open-topped carriage entered the course through the Golden Gates at the top end of what is called The Straight Mile. Also in the carriage with Harry – or Prince Henry of Wales, as he was listed, using his official, rarely used name – was his grandfather Prince Philip, 93, and his uncle Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, 54.
Following them in the second carriage were Prince Charles, 65, and his wife, Camilla, 66 – she'd recovered from the cold that caused her to miss the Order of the Garter service Monday – and Harry's cousins, Princesses Beatrice, 25, and Eugenie, 24.
Though it was a welcome surprise for his fans to see Harry at the races, the prince has made excursions to the countryside before to see some of the queen's racehorses. And he is close to Jake Warren, the son of the queen's racing manager.
Charlie Crowhurst / Getty
Pink was apparently the favorite and could be chosen for Wednesday. But Jessica Bridge of Ladbrokes said: "Blue was heavily backed by punters and we've already faced a huge payout before racing has even started. Her Majesty's known to sport a pink hat on day 2, and it's a short price she'll be looking pretty in pink once again."
At the weekend, Harry will head off on a tour of Brazil and Chile. In July, he will join his brother and sister-in-law, Prince William and Kate, to help launch the British leg of the Tour de France cycling race.