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Prince William and Kate Middleton clearly know how to please fans, because the royal couple just made a surprise appearance at the 2022 Royal Ascot.

Today, the couple joined the royal procession at the star-studded event, which is considered Britain’s most popular horse race. They were escorted across the lawn in a horse-drawn carriage before arriving at the Royal Box.

prince william kate middleton royal ascot
Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Middleton stepped out in a black-and-white polka dot dress by Alessandra Rich (per Hello! magazine). The midi-length frock featured long sleeves, a draped bodice and a high neckline with buttons on the shoulder.

The duchess topped off the look (literally) with a coordinating fascinator that resembled a small woven hat decorated with white flowers. She even styled her hair in a chic updo that showed off her pearl-drop earrings.

In addition to a classic white shirt and tie, Prince William wore a formal get-up that included a black tail coat, a vest and top hat.

prince william kate middleton royal ascot carriage
Mark Cuthbert/UK Press/Getty Images

If you’re wondering why Prince William and Middleton sat in the back of the carriage (while Arthur Vestey and Martha Beaumont sat in the front), you should know there’s not one, but two reasons for the strategic location. As Hello! magazine points out, prominent royals are purposely placed in the forward-facing seats because they 1. offer the best view of the crowds and 2. allow for photographers to easily capture photos.

This rule has been followed for the past few days, with people like Prince Charles, Camilla Parker Bowles, Princess Anne and Zara Tindall occupying the coveted carriage seats. And now, Prince William and Middleton have joined the unofficial club.

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RELATED: Listen to ‘Royally Obsessed,’ the Podcast for People Who Love the Royal Family

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