TIGHTER regulations governing dress code at Ascot did not dampen racegoers’ enthusiasm for pushing the boundaries of what is acceptable as they sought to stand out at Ladies’ Day.
While Ascot’s army of assistants remained out in force, with fascinators, shawls and ties for those improperly attired, a dazzling array of dresses and hats showed off British styles.
While some novelty hats earned a warning their wearers could be asked to leave, others passed muster with the fashion police, so long as they fulfilled the rules of having a base measuring four inches.
Ascot chiefs said they were “thrilled” by the sense of style shown by racegoers following the dress code changes, with many opting for patriotic garb to mark the Queen’s Jubilee, the Olympics and England’s showdown with Italy this weekend in the European Championships.
Chief executive Charles Barnett said: “There is a tremendous array of hats on display today including a sea of fascinators in the grandstand – the likes of which we cannot remember seeing. We are thrilled with how the dress code has been embraced over the week and today is no exception, with everyone looking fantastic.”
Rain meant an umbrella was a must-have accessory, but vibrant outfits provided a splash of colour on a grey day.
Earlier, the arrival of the Queen’s royal carriage procession brought a touch of class. The Duchess of Cambridge’s parents Carole and Michael Middleton rode in the one of the four carriages, waving to racegoers.
Celebrities were out in force, including opera star Katherine Jenkins, veteran entertainer Sir Bruce Forsyth, composer Lord (Andrew) Lloyd Webber, former Olympic champion Sir Steve Redgrave, Apprentice star Karren Brady, fashion designer Ozwald Boateng and Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes.
Ascot coverage: Page 20.