Two of the royal party at Cowes were competing in races.
The Duke of Edinburgh was at the helm of Yeoman XXII in a Class One race for the Sir Walter Preston trophy – the major event of the day.
Prince Andrew was expected to compete aboard a Flying Fifteen open day boat.
Prince Charles’ plans were said by a Buckingham Palace spokesman to be ‘unclear’, but it was known that he would be going windsurfing.
He added that he was ‘unaware’ whether heiress Sabrina Guinness was at Cowes with him.
While all eyes afloat were aimed at catching a glimpse of the Duke in action, the major talking point ashore was the controversy over the use of carbon fibre rudders in the Admiral’s Cup fleet.