Kate Middleton wore a cream Dolce and Gabbana dress despite a downpour at Royal Ascot


The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge braved an untimely downpour as they made their debut appearance at Royal Ascot.

William and Kate ditched the umbrellas as they paraded along the famous racecourse in an open-top carriage - smiling and waving to the crowds despite the sudden shower.

Kate Middleton

It was the first time the Duchess, who wore a cream Dolce and Gabbana dress and Jane Taylor hat, had visited Royal Ascot - a key date in the racing and social calendar.

Crowds cheered as the procession of the Royal Family - led by the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh in the first carriage - pulled into the parade ring.

The royals mingled with guests in the ring before making their way to the royal box, from where they watched the first race - in which one of the Queen's horses was competing.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during day two of Royal Ascot

Kate, who was talking to a guest in the box, ended the conversation so she could sit down to watch the race intently.

But the Queen's horse, Light Music, failed to win - and television duo Ant and Dec presented the Jersey Stakes trophy to the owners of Ribchester instead.

Heavy rain plagued the first day of racing at Royal Ascot, but the weather was warm and dry during Wednesday morning until the start of the royal procession.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

There were concerns that the royal carriage would not be able to travel along the course on Wednesday because the saturated ground had become so soft.

But the procession went ahead as planned despite the rain.

Kate surprised racegoers when she joined William to present the Duke of Cambridge Stakes trophy to the owner of the winning horse Usherette.

The Duchess of Cambridge

The Duchess was not expected to assist in the trophy giving but entered the parade ring with her husband to cheers and claps from the crowd.

She shook hands with the owner, trainer and jockey as William awarded the trophies.