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Gallant Charles helps Camilla put on her mask


By PA News

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The Prince of Wales proved a dab hand at helping the Duchess of Cornwall comply with Covid regulations – when his wife struggled to put on her mask.

Charles and Camilla were in the parade ring at Royal Ascot when the heir to the throne’s extra pair of hands came in handy, and he hooked the strap of her mask around her left ear.

The prince and duchess had presented the winning prizes in the aptly named Prince of Wales’s Stakes, won by the thoroughbred Love, when they removed their masks briefly for a picture and Camilla struggled to put her mask back on.

Jockey Ryan Moore collects the trophy from the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall after winning the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes on Love (Andrew Matthews/PA)
Jockey Ryan Moore collects the trophy from the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall after winning the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes on Love (Andrew Matthews/PA)

She wore a champagne chiffon dress with matching face mask, both by Fiona Clare, and a hat by Philip Treacy.

Members of the royal family spent another day enjoying the thrills of the turf at the world famous Berkshire meet, with the Earl and Countess of Wessex and the Princess Royal also spotted in the royal box.

Sophie was all smiles when she arrived at Royal Ascot in contrast to a recent BBC interview when her eyes filled with tears when she recounted a fond memory about the late Duke of Edinburgh.

The Countess of Wessex (centre) in the Parade Ring at Royal Ascot at Ascot (Andrew Matthews/PA)
The Countess of Wessex (centre) in the Parade Ring at Royal Ascot at Ascot (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Punters had hoped to see the Queen but she was missing for a second day, although her racing manager John Warren has suggested if she has horses running later in the week the hope is she will attend.

Bookmaker William Hill is hoping the Queen, described by Camilla as having an encyclopaedic knowledge of horses, joins the racegoers before the event finishes on Saturday.

Betting on the colour of the Queen’s hat is a popular flutter among punters and Rupert Adams says his firm William Hill has made blue its favourite with odds of 3-1, followed by yellow 9-2, green 5-1 and purple 6-1.

He said: “We still hope to see the Queen later this week and expect her to opt for blue!”

Racegoers during day two of Royal Ascot (Steven Paston/PA)
Racegoers during day two of Royal Ascot (Steven Paston/PA)

Camilla has talked about how she has been bitten by the racing bug and experienced the thrills and disappointments of owning a thoroughbred.

She told ITV Racing she has two horses in training but said the hopes of a good runner can soon be dashed.

The duchess said: “We all know horses don’t we, we start off thinking this is the one – this is the one that’s going to go on, you know, if it’s the flat it’s going to go on and win the Derby, if it’s jumping it’s definitely going to win the Gold Cup.

“So you all start with great hope, as it goes on hope is shattered bit by bit.”

Racegoers have been welcomed back to Royal Ascot for the first time since 2019 (Andrew Matthews/PA)
Racegoers have been welcomed back to Royal Ascot for the first time since 2019 (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Camilla mentioned one of her previous horses Carntop, who showed initial promise: “I remember the excitement of getting him to Ascot and then I think he finished very nearly last and he went backwards and backwards.

“And then I think we sent him jumping and he started off with great aplomb and won his first two races.

“But if anything got near him, he panicked and didn’t want to know and dug in his toes and gave up.”

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