Just days after announcing news of her devastating miscarriage, the Queen’s granddaughter Zara Phillips is finding solace with horse fans on the Gold Coast.
Honouring her long-time commitment as ambassador for the rich Magic Millions racing carnival, Zara has been warmly welcomed in Queensland alongside her husband Mike Tindall.
The pair kicked off the tour with an appearance at a supporting polo event – their first public outing since the miscarriage news – but made the headlines there for all the wrong reasons.
Large gasps could be heard from a visibly nervous crowd when Zara took a dramatic spill while competing.
The resilient royal immediately jumped up to her feet with a smile on her face and remounted the horse ready to resume playing polo.
“That’s her will to win. She’s tough, she bounces,” joked Mike with the Gold Coast Bulletin.
Just a few days later the pair was again the star attraction, this time for the Magic Millions’ barrier draw. Zara drew the marbles for the feature two-year-old event, while Mike took centre stage to officiate over the guineas’ line-up.
Royal enthusiasts flocked to Surfer’s Paradise to catch a glimpse, and take a selfie with a relaxed Zara.
Zara, who is also the Patron of Magic Millions Racing Women, posed with Magic Millions co-owner Katie Page-Harvey, Magic Millions spokesperson and racing commentator Francesca Cumani as well as Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Michelle Payne and Group 1 winning rider Kathy O’Hara.
Surfers Paradise then turned into a scenic racetrack as Australia’s top jockeys, including Michelle, Kathy and International Group One winning owner Sheikh Fahad Al-Thani galloped across the beach.
A royal spokeswoman for Zara and Mike announced on Christmas Eve they had lost their unborn baby, just weeks after they revealed they were expecting their second child.
It is thought Zara, 35, would have been about four-months pregnant, and the baby was expected to arrive in late Spring.
The couple have one daughter, Mia, who was born in January, 2014.
Jeep Magic Millions Raceday takes place on Saturday, January 14.