The Queen looked less than impressed as the heavens opened at Royal Ascot today – but high spirited revellers didn’t let the wet weather dampen their fun.
The monarch, 93, arrived for the second day of festivities in an open-top carriage alongside Prince Charles, 70, and the Duchess of Cornwall, 71, but was later forced to whip out an umbrella to stay dry.
Elsewhere well-heeled racegoers faced their own battle with the hair-frizzing drizzle, with many donning disposable rain ponchos and seeking shelter anywhere they could.
But even the potential for fashion disaster couldn’t dull the shine of the day’s events – and the determined revellers still kicked up their heels and got into the fun.
Royal blue! The monarch, 93, arrived for the second day of festivities in an open-top carriage alongside Prince Charles, 70, and the Duchess of Cornwall, 71, pictured together – but was forced to whip out an umbrella when the heavens opened
One’s not amused! The Queen looked a little put out as it started to rain shortly after her arrival at Royal Ascot today
Emergency outfit change! Disposable rain ponchos were required as revellers battled to stay dry in the wet weather
Still smiling! Designer Isabell Kristensen, left, and Francesca Cumani looked fresh despite the drizzly weather
Bright spot! The Queen’s sky blue coat and Camilla’s mint ensemble brightened up an otherwise dull day at Royal Ascot
Caught out! The royals (Camilla, left) weren’t the only ones hit by the wet weather and racegoers rushed for shelter, right
The ultimate accessory! The stands were awash with umbrellas when it started to rain on the second day of Royal Ascot
Stars including Charlotte Hawkins, Debbie McGee and Helen Flanagan were among the first to arrive, with all three looking elegant in white ensembles.
And as the party got into full swing, women in their best frocks were seen looking merry as they kicked up their heels and danced along the lawns.
The five-day festival, the jewel in the crown of the UK racing calendar, kicked off yesterday with stunning displays from well-heeled revellers – and an impressive royal guest list.
Happy occasion: Prince Edward and Sophie Wessex, who celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary today, were also there
Royal arrival: Prince and Princess Michael of Kent arrived in the second carriage behind the Queen, Charles and
Yoohoo! Princess Anne waved to her mother, brother and sister-in-law as they passed in the carriage at Royal Ascot, pictured
Over here! The Princess Royal caught the royals’ attention as they passed – and had her own umbrella ready just in case
Royal outing: The Queen and Camilla were joined by Prince Charles (left from behind) and Viscount Brookeborough (right)
Umbrellas at the ready! The Queen, left, and the Duchess of Cornwall, right, arriving at Royal Ascot in the open carriage today
Big welcome: Well-wishers turned out to greet the Queen on her Royal Ascot arrival – before the heavens opened
Rainy Royal Ascot! The Queen kept her head down, left, as she crossed the lawn while holding up a matching blue umbrella
Staying dry: Prince Edward, left, and the Countess of Wessex arrived separately and appeared to stay under cover
Classic combination: The Countess of Wessex paired a white dress with a navy and white hat for day two of Royal Ascot
Lots to smile about! The Earl and Countess of Wessex, pictured, celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary today
The Queen, 93, a lifelong racing enthusiast, was joined by several members of the Royal Family including Prince William, the Duchess of Cambridge, Zara Phillips and Princess Eugenie as she officially opened the event with the traditional carriage procession.
Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall, and King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands also attended.
Royal Ascot is a much a social occasion as a sporting event and racegoers take the opportunity to turn on the style, from chic hats and summer dresses to sharp suits.
Rainy day drinks! A group of women grabbed some umbrellas and headed out to brave the rain at Royal Ascot
Stuck in the mud! A woman wipes down her legs after getting dirty, left. Right, women risk a trudge across the field
It won’t dampen their spirits! Racegoers were forced to whip out their umbrellas as the rain started at Royal Ascot
Here come the girls! Two women embrace at Ascot, right, one woman strikes a playful pose on her way inside
Splash of sunshine! Racegoers in different shades of yellow brighten up a cloudy second day at Royal Ascot this morning
Visitors to the high-profile racing event this year also have a wider choice of garb, as organisers say they are free to choose a gender dress code they ‘feel most comfortable’ with.
Under the changes, women will be allowed to dress like men and vice versa – as long as they stick to the rules.
This year’s Royal Enclosure dress code says ‘Gentleman’ must wear black or grey morning dress with a waist coat and tie.
Ascot day two! As the party got into full swing, women in their best frocks were seen kicked up their heels along the lawn
Finest florals: Milliner Tracy Rose, left, chose one of her own showstopping creations. Right, racegoer Jennifer Wrynne
Society beauty: Sabrina Percy, left, was the picture of elegance. Right, model Natalia Kapchuk makes a political statement
Delicate: Presenter Francesca Cumani in a pretty blossom hat. Right, another racegoer went for a playful bird creation
Candy-coloured dream! Band The Tootsie Rollers donned summer dresses and hats by London milliner Nerida Fraiman
‘Ladies’ are not allowed to wear strapless and off-the-shoulder dresses, while mid-riffs have to be covered and fascinators are also banned.
In previous years, it has insisted attendees cover their midriffs and avoid wearing fascinators and that still stands.
While in previous years there has been no official style guide for the Windsor Enclosure, except to dress for a formal occasion, now female attendees are requested to wear fascinators, like those in the rest of the enclosures.
Royal Ascot has put in place strict dress codes since the early 19th century .
The race gathering’s famously strict clothing rules hark back to sartorial trailblazer Beau Brummell, who dictated the dress for men in the Royal Enclosure at the turn of the 19th century and was fond of cleaning his shoes with champagne.
Group photo! Royal Ascot is the perfect time to snap pictures – and this group of revellers made sure they didn’t miss out
Dream teams: Handsome couples made some serious fashion statements as they arrived at Ascot Racecourse this morning
Here come the boys! It wasn’t just women who dressed to impress, gentlemen like the ones above were also well turned out
Dynamic duos! A guest in a kilt causes a stir, left, as he arrives at Ascot. Right, women pose in flowing floral maxi dresses
In bloom! A radiant racegoer poses next to the Royal Ascot photo wall on her way into the second day of the event today
Statement dresses: Red, left, and animal print, right, were both on show as racegoers brought their fashion A-game to Ascot
Inspired by nature! Rachel Oates, from Hampshire, left, and Mrs Shane Horn, from Ascot, arriving at Royal Ascot today
Cheers! It’s time for Champagne for these racegoers in The Orangerie Bar by Moet Chandon Grand Vintage at the racecourse
Star power: Love Island alum CHris Hughes posed with fans (left) while Victoria Pendleton looked elegant in a patterned gown
Tartan twosome! Milliner William Chambers, right in left image, and a guest. Pictured right, Mathias Le Fevre
Bold and beautiful: Two racegoers pose for the camera as they arrive for the second day of races at Royal Ascot this morning
Two years ago, the event broke with convention by allowing racegoers to wear jumpsuits in the Royal Enclosure for the first time.
Organisers also announced they would try to draw in a new breed of visitors by putting on a ‘party atmosphere’ and a ‘more vibrant feel’.
Meanwhile, no changes have been made to rules for ‘Gentlemen’.
Juliet Slot, commercial director of Ascot, said: ‘Fashion and style are an important part of the Royal Ascot experience for all of our customers.’
Mellow yellow! Demonstrating just how versatile one colour can be, a group of women make their Royal Ascot entrance
Matchy matchy! Men and women dressed in identical outfits make their way inside Ascot Racecourse to join in the fun
Say cheese! A group stop for a photo on their way into Royal Ascot this morning – where the second day is underway
Fabulous fabrics: Velvet, suede, satin and silk are expertly juxtaposed in these two stylish Royal Ascot ensembles
Dapper: Top hats and tails are required for gentlemen in certain enclosures – and these two chaps didn’t disappoint