Hats off to the ladies at Royal Ascot
Racegoers donned a range of weird, wonderful and wacky hats for Ladies’ Day at the popular meeting.
Racegoers donned a range of weird, wonderful and wacky hats for Ladies’ Day at Royal Ascot.
The fashion stakes were high on the third day of the famous meeting, with spectators pulling out all the stops to make a statement – from teapot-inspired headgear to mythical animals.
Royal Ascot is as much a social occasion as a sporting event and horse racing fans take the opportunity to turn on the style, with chic hats, summer dresses and sharp suits.
Debora Day, 67, from Romsey, Essex, wore an enormous white hat she made from voluminous tulle topped with a tiny model of Pegasus.
She completed the look with a matching red and white dress with a long train.
She said: “I was inspired by Ladies’ Day and wanted to create something with excitement and atmosphere and fun – everything I do is fun.
“I found the dress in a little boutique shop near where I live, then created the hat to match.”
Milliner Victoria Charles was wearing one of her own creations – a collection of mechanical cogs – she said: “The hat was inspired by watches, the mechanism inside a watch and is made of felt to look like metal.
“I love coming to Ascot. I’ve got lots of my clients here and it’s wonderful to get dressed up.”
Lawyer Alexa Wolman, 34, from Miami, Florida, was wearing a hat in the form of a teapot, which was pouring flowers rather than tea.
She said: “It’s Ladies’ Day and I wanted to do something whimsical and fantastical and wanted the flowers to represent the lovely women here today.”
The Queen arrived in the traditional carriage procession with the Princess Royal, her husband Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, and the Duke of York.
In the other carriages were three of the Queen’s grandchildren, Peter Phillips and wife Autumn, Zara Tindall and husband Mike Tindall, a former England rugby player, and Princess Eugenie.
Among the famous faces in the stands was Game Of Thrones star Natalie Dormer, tennis coach Judy Murray and Lady Gabriella Windsor, whose father is the Queen’s cousin, and her husband Thomas Kingston.
Punters’ favourite jockey Frankie Dettori won the first four races of the day including the big race of the week the Gold Cup on the favourite Stradivarius.
He came close to emulating his famous magnificent seven, when he won all seven races at Ascot in 1996, but bookies breathed a sigh of relief when he narrowly lost the fifth race of the day, coming second to the 28-1 shot Biometric.
“The Queen never wears grey so we are astounded by her choice and we have lost a small fortune,” said William Hill spokesman Rupert Adams.
Coral’s Harry Aitkenhead said: “The strength of the gamble over the last 24 hours on the Queen to wear a grey hat knocked us for six.”
He added: “We’ve paid out to hundreds of customers and it’s joy for punters as they begin day three of this famous meeting.”