Luck be a ROYAL lady! Sophie Wessex, Princess Mary of Denmark and the Duchess of Cambridge can't contain their excitement as their horses win at Royal Ascot
- Early arrivals at Berkshire course enjoyed fine sunshine after yesterday's downpours
- Glamorous display of elaborate millinery on show for second day of the festival
- Duke and Duchess of Cambridge tipped to attend for the first time
- But further rain is predicted to disrupt the Queen's carriage parade
- There is more than £6.5million in prize money up for grabs this year, with in excess of £1million to win every day
- Organisers have put together an exhaustive style guide - encouraging 'modest' hemlines and 'sartorial elegance'
They may be expected to look dignified and reserved in public but some royals couldn't help but let their excitement show during the races at Royal Ascot today.
The Duchess of Cambridge, Crown Princess Mary of Denmark and the Countess of Wessex were a vision of elegance in midi-length dresses, high heeled shoes and eye-catching hats. But the minute the races began, their ladylike facades fell away as they roared with delight, whooped and cheered as they watched their horses gallop to victory on the historic racecourse.
It was Kate's first ever visit to Royal Ascot, where racegoers have been putting on a glamorous display in elaborate hats and colourful dresses all morning. And while the Duchess of Cambridge, 34, may have opted for the more understated look in a white lace dress, she certainly didn't disappoint in the style stakes - or with her enthusiasm levels.
She teamed the £3,450 dress from Dolce and Gabbana, with a woven gold Jane Taylor hat, decorated with a cream rose and two feathers and sported a name badge, helpfully labelled: 'HRH The Duchess of Cambridge'.
The Duchess of Cambridge chose a white lace dress by Dolce and Gabbana for her first visit to Royal Ascot
The Duchess of Cambridge reacts during the races while Prince Edward looks on
The Duchess, who teamed her £3,450 dress from Dolce and Gabbana, with a woven gold Jane Taylor hat, was clearly invested in the outcome of the race
Although the Queen's horse was not victorious in the first race, Princess Mary of Denmark still found plenty to cheer about; while her companion Sophie, Countess of Wessex beamed as she watched her horse race to victory
Clearly enjoying their first trip to the historic racecourse, the royal couple looked happy and relaxed as they chatted
William and Kate arrived in a carriage procession for their first visit to Royal Ascot with Wentworth Beaumont, the fourth Viscount Allendale
The Prince will present a trophy for a race named in his honour, The Duke of Cambridge Stakes
Kate had a name tag helpfully reading: 'HRH The Duchess of Cambridge' pinned to her dress
The Queen looked delightful in a pink coat with a white frayed trim and a hat which featured a spray of ornamental berries
Bookmakers had been bets on the colour of Kate's hat and William Hill, who had 2/1 odds that Kate will wear a beige or cream headpiece, were not far wrong.
The Duke and Duchess braved an untimely downpour as they made their debut appearance at Royal Ascot.
William and Kate ditched the umbrellas as they paraded along the famous racecourse in an open-top carriage - smiling and waving to the crowds despite the sudden shower.
They were joined by Wentworth Beaumont and his wife as their carriage made its way along the racecourse.
Princess Mary of Denmark (right) arrived with the Earl of Wessex and his wife Sophie
Princess Mary of Denmark was seen chatting to Kate after the royals arrived in a carriage procession
Princess Anne was a colourful figure in a purple and green floral coat
Prince Charles arrived with his wife Camilla who, like Kate, had also opted for a cream colour scheme
The Prince of Wales looked chipper in his grey suit during day two of Royal Ascot
After dismounting her carriage, the Queen prepared to watch several of her own horses in action
Football fan William was seen laughing and pointing towards the crowd during the carriage procession, reacting to a bystander who shouted a tribute to his favourite team, saying: 'Up the Villa'.
Crowds cheered as the procession of the Royal Family - led by the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh in the first carriage - pulled into the parade ring.
The 90-year-old monarch, who wore a cyclamen pink outfit by Stewart Parvin with a hat by Angela Kelly, arrived to see three of her horses competing.
Alongside her husband, the Queen was joined by the Duke of Argyll and William Farish in the coach.
Kate looked delighted to join her husband as he presented the prizes for the Duke of Cambridge stakes for the first time
Kate congratulates jockey Mickael Barzalona who rode Usherette to victory in the Duke of Cambridge Stake
Kate surprised onlookers by joining her husband to present prizes for the first time at Royal Ascot
The Duchess was not expected to join her husband for the prize giving and entered the arena to cheers from the crowd
Kate's allergies prevents her from horse riding, but she clearly still enjoys the sport as a spectator
Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall and Lord and Lady Vestey followed in the second carriage, while the Earl and Countess of Wessex were in the third coach with the Crown Prince and Princess of Denmark.
Heavy rain plagued the first day of racing at Royal Ascot, but the weather was warm and dry during Wednesday morning until the start of the royal procession.
There were concerns that the royal carriage would not be able to travel along the course on Wednesday because the saturated ground had become so soft.
But the procession went ahead as planned despite the rain, although the Queen and Camilla held umbrellas up to the rain as they trundled along the course.
The royals mingled with guests in the ring before making their way to the royal box, from where they watched the first race - in which one of the Queen's horses was competing.
But Light Music, failed to win - and Ant and Dec presented the Jersey Stakes trophy to the owners of Ribchester instead.
However, the Queen still has two horses running in the last race of the day.
The Queen greets Emir of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum and Jordan's Princess Haya bint al-Hussein
Those who had a flutter on the colour of Kate's fascinator and bet on cream were in for a windfall
William was seen laughing as a member of the crowd shouted out 'Up the Villa' in reference to his favourite football team
The Duchess arrived with Prince William for the couple's first ever appearance at Royal Ascot
There was also a surprise appearance from Princess Mary of Denmark who travelled in a carriage with Sophie, Countess of Wessex, and her husband Prince Edward.
She wore a coral coloured dress with a pretty floral fascinator while the Countess opted for shades of blue.
Princess Mary was spotted catching up with the Duchess after they dismounted their respective carriages.
The Duchess of Cambridge is greeted with a kiss from Edward van Cutsem
Whatever the old family friend had to say left the Duchess in stitches
The Duchess of Cambrige was clearly tickled by a joke as she enjoyed a chat with Edward Van Cutsem
Edward Van Cutsem's late father Hugh was a close friend of Prince Charles and is his godson
Hugh's daughter Grace was a flower girl at the royal wedding and his brother is godfather to Prince George
Her husband Prince Frederik was also in attendance and the Danish royals were clearly enjoying the opportunity to be part of one of the most iconic events of the British racing calendar.
The Countess of Wessex was seen showing them the lie of the land and Princess Mary was seen clapping and cheering on the riders in the royal box and celebrating with Sophie.
Also enjoying the day was the Duchess of Cambridge who looked equally enthused as she cheered on the Queen's horses.
She was also spotted deep in animated conversation with Edward Van Custem - the son of Prince Charles's late friend Hugh.
The Countess of Wessex was seen showing Princess Mary and her husband Crown Prince Frederik the lie of the land
The Australian-born Princess chatted animatedly with fellow guests in the royal box
Princess Mary looked delighted to be enjoying the spectacle and was seen clapping and cheering on the riders
The Countess of Wessex celebrates with Princess Mary of Denmark at Royal Ascot
Perhaps she'd had a flutter: Princess Mary looked delighted with the results as she celebrated with Sophie, Countess of Wessex
The royals were certainly enjoying their day out as they cheered on competitors from the royal box
Sophie, Countess of Wessex, and Princess Mary of Denmark (right) both looked glamorous for their day at the races
His daughter Grace was a flower girl at the royal wedding and his brother William is godfather to Prince George.
After watching the first race, Kate surprised onlookers when she joined William to present the Duke of Cambridge Stakes trophy to the owner of the winning horse Usherette.
The Duchess was not expected to assist in the trophy giving but entered the parade ring with her husband to cheers and claps from the crowd.
She shook hands with the owner, trainer and jockey as William awarded the trophies.
Usherette, owned by Sheikh Mohammed's racing operation Godolphin, was ridden by jockey Mickael Barzalona
Television presenting duo Ant and Dec arrived at the racecourse earlier saying they were 'very much' looking forward to presenting a trophy for the Jersey Stakes.
The pair, who own horses as part of a racing syndicate, arrived at Royal Ascot with their wives Lisa Armstrong and Ali Astall.
William Hill are offering odds of 10/1 that they drop the trophy when they present it.
Dec said: 'We haven't got anything racing so we can relax and enjoy the day.'
He added: 'It's a great day out. It's nice to put a top hat on - you don't get much of an opportunity to do now, do you?'
Despite heavy rain on the first day of racing on Tuesday, the weather has held out for racegoers arriving on Wednesday. But forecasters expect the weather to turn foul again on Thursday.
There were concerns that the heavy rain would lead to the carriage procession along the Ascot racecourse to be cancelled.
One of the first through the gates was Claire Winnall with a group of friends and family - all dressed in black and white.
She said: 'We have been here several times before and I have always done a clear theme.'
Ms Winnall, 50, from Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, said that the monochrome outfits were 'clean' and 'striking' - but doubted that Kate, if she attended, would follow their fashion lead.
The Danish royals were clearly enjoying their trip to Ascot and also took the opportunity to catch up with Prince Edward (left)
'I would love for her to be here today,' she said, and added that if the Duchess happened to turn up in black and white too that 'she can have a photo with us!'.
Sandra King, 60, from Camberley, Surrey, was at Ascot with a group of friends to celebrate one of their birthdays.
Wearing a bold silver hat, she said she was visiting the races for the first time in years.
Ms King said she was hoping that the Duchess of Cambridge would attend the races this afternoon.
The Duchess of Cambridge greets the Princess Royal, Princess Anne during day two of Royal Ascot 2016
Later, the Duchess of Cambridge was spotted looking at an Ascot booklet with Princess Anne
Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge arrived in a carriage procession
Kate teamed the £43,450 midi length dress with a pair of her favourite nude pumps
Kate carried a small woven box clutch
Today is the first time the Duke and Duchess have attended Royal Ascot and their arrival today was hotly tipped by bookmakers
Prince Charles will present a trophy to the winner of the Prince of Wales's Stakes - one of the premier races of the week
The Duchess of Cornwall waved to onlookers while Prince Charles studied the racing programme
'It would be lovely to see her,' she said.
The Royal Family - especially the colour of the Queen's hat - is usually the basis for novelty bets during the five-day racing event.
The monarch surprised bookmakers by wearing a mustard yellow dress on Tuesday, despite predictions she would choose blue.
William Hill was offering bets of 5/2 that she would wear a blue hat today, but in the end they were proved wrong.
The avid racing fan had three of her own horses running in today's festival
The Queen was expected to wear blue today, but instead opted for pastel pink
The monarch surprised bookmakers by wearing a pink outfit today, despite predictions she would choose blue
The Queen chatted to Prince Charles and the Duke of Edinburgh as they made their way to the royal box
The Duchess of Cambridge chats to a fellow racegoer
In addition to being surrounded by her own family, the monarch was also hosting foreign dignitaries.
She spent time in the royal box catching up with Emir of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum (L) and his wife Jordan's Princess Haya bint al-Hussein.
The Queen is an avid racing fan and has attended every royal meeting at Ascot during her reign. She described her visits with her family as among her 'most cherished' memories.
In a foreword in the official programme on Tuesday, she said she first went to Ascot aged 19.
One of her horses, Dartmouth, will be running in the Hardwicke Stakes on Thursday.
The Duchess looked somewhat surprised during a conversation with the Countess of Wessex
Kate was seen catching up with the Countess of Wessex
The Countess of Wessex wore a chic, long sleeved blue dress and carried a small cylindrical clutch bag
The Countess of Wessex couldn't contain her excitement as she took in the action
It is not known if William and Kate are as enthusiastic about racing as the Queen, but Kate once confessed to being allergic to horses.
She told writer Kathy Lette she did not play polo like her husband because of the allergy.
William is a keen rider and regularly plays polo. He also rode during last weekend's Trooping the Colour ceremony.
Another famous visitor was One Direction's Niall Horan who looked smart in a grey checked suit as he arrived to take in the racing action.
Kate accessorised with delicate pearl earrings
The Duchess of Cambridge arrived at Royal Ascot in a white lace dress with a gold fascinator embellished with a cream flower
The Duchess of Cornwall also opted for a cream colour scheme
Indian Summers and Stardust actress Olivia Grant was striking in a gold coat with pink feather detailing and a jewelled neckline, which she teamed with metallic accessories.
Formula 1 team boss Eddie Jordan attended with his wife Marie, who looked elegant in a grey dress and geometric swirl coat.
Also representing the world of sport was Victoria Pendleton who went for understated glamour in a navy spotted dress by Paul Smith, a homemade hat and nude block heeled sandals.
The former Olympic cyclist is becoming something of a fixture at race courses across the country - both in and out of the saddle - after taking up a new career as a jockey.
She said she would love to race at Royal Ascot one day but 'as an amateur it's never going to happen'.
She added: 'Everything has changed now I have got a bit more of an understanding of what I'm looking at.'
The Duke and Duchess left their son Prince George and daughter Princess Charlotte at home as they attended Royal Ascot with family members
Prince William is set to present a trophy for a race named in his honour, The Duke of Cambridge Stakes
TV presenter and model Amy Willerton also went for a navy outfit, looking elegant in a lace dress and matching hat as she arrived with her boyfriend Daniel Day.
Prince Harry joined his grandmother at the races on Tuesday for the third time and presented the St James's Palace Stakes trophy.
He did not attend today, but had he been there he would have been rubbing shoulders with an old flame.
The Royal Family - especially the colour of the Queen's hat - is usually the basis for novelty bets during the five-day racing event.
A racegoer stood out from the crowd in a pink creation embellished all over with colourful butterflies as the second day of action got underway at Royal Ascot
While on woman went for butterflies (right) her friend was a vision in a hot pink with matching feathers
Proud as a peacock! A woman in am elaborately feathered hat was even more eye-catching thanks to her petrol blue leather coat
Blooming lovely: A huge pink rose was a striking contrast to one woman's simple broderie anglaise dress
One woman stunned in an all-white ensemble while her companion was a vision in a cream trouser suit with a huge fan fascinator
She's rarely seen in the UK after relocating to the Bahamas to be with husband Harry St. George but Florence Brudenell-Bruce was among the guests at today's races.
She was linked to Prince Harry following his 2011 split from Chelsy Davy, but in July 2013 the model and actress married Henry Edward Hugh St George, grandson of the Marchese di San Georgio and maternal grandson of the 11th Duke of Grafton.
She arrived in a simple navy button down dress and carried a small beige and pink clutch bag.
Model and actress Florence Brudenell-Bruce, an old flame of Prince Harry, was among the guests at today's races
Florence arrived in a simple navy button down dress and carried a small beige and pink clutch bag
Florence was linked to Prince Harry after his 2011 split from Chelsy Davy but is now married to aristocrat Henry Edward Hugh St George, grandson of the Marchese di San Georgio
Florence now lives in the Bahamas where she lives with her husband and their child
Royal Ascot, which attracts more than 300,000 racegoers each year, is often a family affair for the Queen. On Tuesday, she was joined by all four of her children and some of her grandchildren.
Around 400 helicopters and 600 limos are expected to transport the most glamorous guests to the racecourse this week, with VIP revellers making their way through the equivalent of 478 bathtubs of champagne - 51,000 bottles, while punters will drink around 160,000 glasses of Pimm's.
Event organisers have put together an exhaustive style guide telling guests what to wear for the occasion - with fancy dress and 'replica sports shirts' firmly off-limits; in the past they have been known to turn people away if not dressed appropriately.
Retro girl band The Tootise Rollers were resplendent in white and navy lace dresses
Checking in at Royal Ascot? Two friends paused to scroll through their phones as they got ready for a day at the races
Bucking the trend for high heels, a racing fan looked pretty as a picture in jewelled flats and an asymmetric hemmed dress
A group of friends must have swapped notes in advance with all five of them stepping out in monochrome outfits
Keeping things co-ordinated, a racing fan matched her polka dot hat to her dress (left) while a Venetian mask-style fascinator was one of the more striking headpieces on show (right)
Racegoers wear monochrome outfits on the second day of the Royal Ascot horse race meeting
Female guests within the Royal Enclosure - which is open to members only - are required to don 'formal daywear', with 'modest' hemlines, while men must wear a waistcoat, tie (strictly no cravats) and a top hat. Meanwhile, the Royal Enclosure demands that all ladies wear a hat, hide their midriffs, and don't go strapless or sheer.
The Windsor Enclosure commands a slightly more laissez-faire approach - although novelty and branded clothing is expressly forbidden - with tickets starting at £34.
'Royal Ascot is synonymous with sartorial elegance,' their website explains. 'This is upheld by our dress code, which invites guests to contribute to an occasion heralded as a major fashion event in its own right.'
Celebrity make-up artist Charlotte Tilbury found some matching florals as she arrived at the Berkshire race course
They came prepared! Recegoers enjoy a pop up picnic, complete with champagne
The sun may be shining but these visitors sensibly came armed with their umbrellas
Gates opened at 10.30am, followed by the Royal Procession at 2pm. Races officially kick off at 2.30pm.
Met Office forecaster Alex Burkill warned that showers would persist on Tuesday afternoon, but could turn 'hefty' on Wednesday.
But the weather is expected to improve as the week goes on, he said, becoming more 'settled' by Saturday.
Royal Ascot - one of the highlights of the racing and social calendar - attracts many of the world's finest horses to compete for more than £6.58 million in prize money - with more than £1 million up for grabs every day.
It was founded by Queen Anne in 1711 and is the centrepiece of the racing year at Ascot Racecourse.
The style spectacle is known for its strict dress code in the Royal and Queen Anne enclosures, where ladies must wear hats. Around 300,000 racegoers attend Royal Ascot each year and make their way through 51,000 bottles of champagne, almost 3,000 lobsters and 50,000 macaroons.
Early birds arrived to a much brighter day, but the rain is set to return later
Ready for a downpour: After yesterday's wash out racegoers weren't taking any chances with the weather
Racegoers didn't let the threat of bad weather dampen their spirits as they arrived for a day of sporting action
Organisers have also revealed that a thousand kilos of clotted cream will eaten, along with 7,000 punnets of berries and 45,000 afternoon teas. Seafood is always popular on the menu, with punters consuming almost 3,000 lobsters, 7,000 Cornish and Folkestone crabs and 5,000 kilos of salmon.
Bookmaker William Hill predicted odds on that William and Kate would join the Queen in the royal procession at the famous Berkshire racecourse.
But initially there were fears that the carriage parade could be scrapped.
Heavy rain caused havoc at Royal Ascot on Tuesday, with racegoers sheltering their fancy hats under umbrellas and ponchos.
Around 300,000 racegoers attend Royal Ascot each year and make their way through 51,000 bottles of champagne, almost 3,000 lobsters and 50,000 macaroons
Racegoers top up their glasses of bubbly as they enjoy picnics at Ascot
The glamour was back at Ascot today after yesterday's bad weather forced patrons to cover up in plastic ponchos
Racegoers attend day two of Royal Ascot where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are tipped to make their first appearance later today
Studying their race cards, two fans brushed up on the day's events
Friends treated themselves to a glass of champagne as the festivities got underway
Keeping up with the ladies: Male racegoers looked just as smart as their female counterparts
Revellers were no doubt breathing a sigh of relief this morning as the sun shone over the Berkshire course
TV presenter and model Amy Willerton looking elegant in a lace dress and matching hat as she arrived with her boyfriend Daniel Day
Olivia Grant chose a striking gold feathered coat, which she teamed with metallic accessories
Olivia's dress featured a striking jewelled embellishment around the neckline
Formula 1 team boss Eddie Jordan attended with his wife Marie
Victoria Pendleton went for understated glamour in a navy spotted dress and nude block heeled sandals
One Direction's Niall Horan looked smart in a grey checked suit
Declan Donnelly and his wife Ali Astall arrived in their smartest gear for their day at the races
Ant McPartlin, pictured with his wife Lisa Armstrong, ambitiously brought his sunglasses and luckily he wasn't disappointed
TV presenters And and Dec were among the first arrivals, looking dapper in top hats and tails while their wives Lisa (second left) and Ali (second right) went all out for their day at the races
The wet weather had also softened the course - so much so that there are odds of 4/1 that the Queen's carriage will not make it down the racecourse.
'It hasn't happened for many years but the going can only get softer and we imagine that there would be nothing worse than the Queen's carriage getting stuck in the quagmire,' William Hill spokesman Rupert Adams said.
Odds were 10/1 that the carriage would become immobilised if the procession takes place but luckily it took place without incident.
William Hill had previously suspended the book on the royal couple making their first appearance at the meet, and were offering odds of 10-1 that Prince George would come along too.
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