In Pictures: Hat to the trot at Royal Ascot Ladies Day
The rain threatened to make Ladies' Day at Royal Ascot a wash-out — but dedicated followers of fashion refused to let the weather spoil their fun.
Extravagant hats were briefly covered by umbrellas and bold dresses with waterproofs until the sun eventually came out.
Some racegoers decided to pay tribute to the 300th anniversary of the famous Berkshire racecourse with their choice of outfit.
The Duchess of Cambridge's parents, Carole and Michael Middleton, took part in the traditional horse-drawn carriage procession for the first time, following the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and other members of the Royal family.
Mrs Middleton sat in the fourth carriage, wearing a pale taupe outfit and matching hat with lace detail.
The Queen, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, was greeted by applause as she arrived.
The colour of her hat is always the subject of much speculation during the five-day meet. Yesterday she opted for coral, with green and coral trim, matching the colour of her suit.
Buckingham Palace said the Queen was wearing a pink and green silk printed dress and a raw silk coat, both by Stewart Parvin. Her straw hat, with flower detail, was created by Rachel Trevor-Morgan.
Once in the enclosure the Queen spent time talking to jockeys, but made a fairly swift exit when the rain became even heavier. Celebrities attending Ladies' Day included footballer Michael Owen, Dragons' Den star Peter Jones and Boyzone’s Shane Lynch.
Newly-knighted entertainer Bruce Forsyth was cheered as he arrived at Ascot with his wife, Wilnelia Merced, who wore a chic white skirt suit by Puerto Rican designer Harry Robles and a hat by Deida Acero.
Bruce said how proud he was of his recent honour, adding: “It's been busy. It hasn't stopped.”
The annual gathering is as much a social occasion as an event for betting punters.
Each year, the crowds consume some 170,000 bottles of champagne, around 10,000 lobsters, 5,000 oysters and 18,000 punnets of strawberries.