Meghan Markle Attended the Royal Ascot a Month After Her Wedding—But ​Kate Waited Five Years

Meghan Markle made her Royal Ascot debut today, not too long after her fellow Duchess and sister-in-law, Kate Middleton, did the same. The annual celebration is a special week of horse races attended by the Queen and other members of the royal family. Below, see how both Duchesses celebrated their first time at the the event.

The Timing

The most obvious difference in Markle’s and Middleton’s Ascot debuts is in how long they waited to attend after their weddings. The Duchess of Sussex made her appearance today exactly one month after tying the knot to Prince Harry at Windsor Castle. The Duchess of Cambridge, however, made her first appearance in 2016 (to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday), five years after marrying Prince William.

It’s believed the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were invited every year since their wedding in 2011, but Kate politely declined because she and her husband were focused on raising their kids, according to Hello!‘s royal correspondent Emily Nash.

“William and Kate’s focus was on his job and the children for a while, but they’ve stepped up their royal duties in the past couple of years,” Nash said.

The Dresses

Both sisters-in-law wore white. Markle once again entrusted Clare Waight Keller of Givenchy to create her frock—a white button-down shirt dress with floral embroidery at the waist. She accessorized with a thin black belt, pumps, and a Givenchy clutch.

Middleton went for a lace ensemble by Dolce & Gabbana, which she paired with nude pumps and an L.K. Bennett basket clutch, which added a summery touch to her regal look.

The Hats

Like many royal gatherings, the Royal Ascot yields an impressive display of headwear. Both Duchesses were sure to dress fittingly for the occasion. Markle wore a topper by Philip Treacy, another one of her go-to brands, featuring a curved black and white design and what appear to be leather ribbon accents.

Kate went for a cream Jane Taylor headpiece adorned with ribbons, feathers, and a white rose.

Middleton unfortunately missed today’s event since she’s on maternity leave, but we can’t wait to see both stylish royals celebrate the event together.

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