kate middleton and camilla sharing a carriage at ascot

Why royal ladies are always given the back seats in carriages

The royal family were out in full force for Ascot

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The Queen and her family stepped out in full force on Tuesday to attend Royal Ascot, and one of the highlights of the racing event is no doubt the glorious carriage procession that kicks off proceedings. At this year's event, Her Majesty rode with the Duke of York and her guests of honour King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands, while the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall shared another.

 
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Watch the Queen, Kate and the rest of the royals arrive at Ascot

In the third carriage was Princess Anne and the Countess of Wessex, accompanied by Prince Edward and the Lord de Mauley, while the fourth carriage was reserved for Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie and the Queen's private secretary, Edward Young.

The royals tend to be photographed more clearly in the forward-facing seats

Royal watchers may have noticed that the ladies all had forward-facing seats in their carriage and there's a very simple reason; the back seats have a better view of the crowds and the racecourse as they enter the enclosure. They also tend to be photographed more clearly. In the case of royals riding with non-royals, the Queen and her family would take precedence and would again be given the forward-facing seats.

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The royals pulled out all the stops this year, dressing to the nines and seemingly coordinating in blue. Kate opted for a breathtaking cornflower Elie Saab dress which she paired with a Philip Treacy hat that featured a large blue rose. Riding next to her was Camilla, who was typically elegant in a blush pink coat dress and hat.

They also have a better view as they enter the enclosure

The Countess of Wessex always dresses to impress and 2019's event was no different, with Sophie looking blooming lovely in a bespoke creation by one of her favourite designers, Emilia Wickstead. The pale pink dress was emblazoned with a burst of floral bouquets and the same print was used under the brim of her hat.

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Zara Tindall also went for a floral motif, wearing a dress by cult Australian designer Zimmermann, while Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie twinned in blue. The elder of the York sisters chose a stunning pastel blue lace dress by Maje; newlywed Eugenie looked just as pretty in a blue sleeveless dress that featured a pleated skirt.

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