Queen Camilla holds onto her hat as she arrives at Cheltenham without Charles

It is the first public appearance the Queen has made since Kate Middleton’s photo-editing backlash

Lydia Patrick
Wednesday 13 March 2024 17:42 GMT
Queen Camilla arrives for 'Style Wednesday' at Cheltenham Festival

Queen Camilla held onto her hat as she arrived at Cheltenham for a day at the races without King Charles.

Camilla, a keen follower of equine sports, joined her children and other close relatives at the biggest week in the jump racing calendar.

King Charles was absent from the occasion as he was pictured smiling and waving leaving Clarence House today as he undergoes treatment for cancer.

Known to love a flutter on the horses, the Queen took her place in the royal box after arriving at the Cheltenham racecourse and walking past racegoers who stopped to watch her pass.

(Getty Images)

It is the first public appearance the Queen has made since the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge sparked uproar after a family photograph they shared on Mother’s Day had been edited.

Zara Tindall (right) watches the Ultima Handicap Chase with horse Chianti Classico on day one of the 2024 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse (Andrew Matthews/PA Wire)

Within hours of the palace sharing it on social media, international picture agencies began recalling the image, citing fears it had been “manipulated”, as eagle-eyed royal fans pointed out numerous editing concerns.

Zara and Mike Tindall were already in the exclusive spot overlooking the course, as were the Queen’s son Tom Parker Bowles, daughter Laura Lopes and her husband Harry, alongside Camilla’s nephew Sir Ben Elliot.

The Princess Royal on day two of the 2024 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse (Adam Davy/PA Wire)

The Queen is a regular at the Cheltenham festival and an honorary member of the Jockey Club which runs the major sporting event.

Also among the guests in the royal box were Princess Eugenie and husband Jack Brooksbank, and Camilla’s friend and official Queen’s Companion, Lady Sarah Keswick and the Princess Royal.

Zara Tindall on day two of the 2024 Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse (David Davies for The Jockey Club/PA Wire)

The day was billed as Style Wednesday by festival organisers, with racegoers encouraged to wear sustainable fashion.

The Queen wore an Anna Valentine ensemble – brown suede skirt, matching leopard print shirt and a dark green cashmere coat, with a wide brimmed Lock & Co hat.

Among the punters were a number of celebrities including Aston Villa and England footballer Tyrone Mings and magician and gameshow presenter Stephen Mulhern.

Ahead of the second race, the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase, the Queen came down to the parade ring to chat to some of the owners and trainers and cast her eye over the thoroughbreds.

Nearby and not part of the royal party, was former army officer Mark Dyer, who acted as the Duke of Sussex’s mentor, playing the role of a supportive big brother figure for Harry after the death of his mother Diana, Princess of Wales.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in