But there was one event, Sarah, Duchess of York couldn't miss - her half-sister Alice Ferguson's wedding.
For the happy occasion, the flame-haired royal had picked out a multi-coloured silk dress with a slate grey, embroidered cropped jacket and matching fascinator.
Alice is the daughter of Sarah's late father Major Ronald Ferguson and his second wife Susan Deptford.
Now in her twenties, she was a bridesmaid when the Duchess married Prince Andrew in the Eighties.
The director of a travel company, she is based in Singapore with her new husband Nick Stileman, an Australian banker.
Making the country wedding in the Fergusons' village of Dummer, Hampshire a truly family affair, Sarah was accompanied by her daughters Beatrice and Eugenie.
And arriving in the company of her pretty girls, the 50-year-old managed to look chipper, exchanging a few cheerful words with onlookers.
A day out among friends and family must have been a comfort to her.
Earlier this year she was forced to apologise for an error of judgement after a sting operation by an undercover reporter, in which she was caught on camera, offering to arrange access to her ex- husband.