Family supports Lady Gabriella Windsor at start of Royal Ascot

Family supports Lady Gabriella Windsor at start of Royal Ascot

Lady Gabriella Windsor has received the public support of the royal family as she made her first major appearance since the death of her husband.

The bereaved member of the monarchy was hugged by Zara Tindall during a day at Royal Ascot after she joined the King and Queen’s traditional carriage procession.

Lady Gabriella, the King’s second cousin, looked relaxed as she travelled along the course past stands packed with racegoers in a carriage with the Princess Royal, her son Peter Phillips and Charles and Camilla’s racing manager John Warren.

The King and Queen are proven fans of racing and waved to the crowds when their carriage entered the parade ring where Zara and her husband, former rugby international Mike Tindall, and other guests were waiting.

The King and Queen present a trophy to a jockey
The Queen presents a trophy to winning jockey Sean Levey following the St James’s Palace Stakes on day one of Royal Ascot (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Punters dressed in stunning hats, summer dresses and smart suits cheered on the riders during the opening day of the famous Berkshire meet, which attracted a number of famous faces including Penny Lancaster, Nick Knowles and Good Morning Britain co-host Charlotte Hawkins.

The event was founded by Queen Anne in 1711 after she declared Ascot ideal for “horses to gallop at full stretch”, and has today become a major social event as much as a sporting attraction.

Camilla in a blue hat
The King and Queen are keen racegoers (John Walton/PA)

Writing in the official programme, Charles and Camilla wished the racegoers the “best of luck” in chasing the “thrill of a Royal Ascot winner”.

Royal Ascot 2023 was their first as King and Queen, and the couple – who took on Queen Elizabeth II’s thoroughbreds – watched as their horse Desert Hero won the King George V Stakes, their first winner at the famous meet as owners.

The King speaks to a jockey
The King with Oisin Murphy after the jockey won the King Charles III Stakes on Asfoora (David Davies/PA)

The late Queen was a passionate owner and breeder of thoroughbreds, and had more than 20 Royal Ascot winners during her 70-year reign.

Charles and Camilla wrote: “It gave us immense pleasure and joy to witness Desert Hero’s victory in the King George V Stakes last year, particularly as he was bred by Her late Majesty.

“We wish all the participants this week the very best of luck in seeking that unique thrill of a Royal Ascot winner.

A race under way at Ascot
The event is a great favourite among the royals – and royal-watchers (John Walton/PA)

“We also hope that those here at the racecourse and watching from home will enjoy five days of the finest racing that this sport has to offer.”

Lady Gabriella’s day out came after she was spotted behind the scenes at Buckingham Palace following the Trooping the Colour ceremony on Saturday, when members of the royal family made a balcony appearance.

In late February, the daughter of Prince Michael of Kent was left bereaved when her husband Thomas Kingston died from a “catastrophic head injury” with a gun found close to his body.