Ladies set a glamorous tone as they join 12,000 other revellers at Royal Ascot

Royal Ascot is one of the most glamorous occasions in the British social calendar and racegoers certainly did not disappoint today – while the Queen’s racing manager revealed she will not be attending the event today.

The event, is a highlight of the British summer season and, after a year of uncertainty and lockdowns, the first day of the races today heralds the return of occasionwear for many.

Racegoers pulled out all the stops as they attended the first day of the race after 18 months of Covid restrictions, opting to wear a dazzling array of dresses, colourful face masks and over-the-top head gear.

The event is part of a list of pilot events taking place, allowing 12,000 revellers to attend, before the possible lifting of all measures to curtail the covid-19 pandemic in July.

Meanwhile the Queen, 95, – an avid horse racing fan – will not make an appearance due to ongoing restrictions, marking only the second time in 69 years that she hasn’t attended the event.

The Queen’s racing manager John Warren told Radio 4 today: ‘Obviously the Queen would love to attend, as you know she’s fanatic about racing, watching racing and breeding horses, and has been going to Ascot all of her adult life. So, it’s a shame to miss an event.

‘The plan at the moment is to see how it goes towards the latter part of the week and if the Queen’s able to come because she’s got runners, then, fingers crossed, it will happen.’

Mike, 42, and Zara Tindall, 36, led the way for glamorous racegoers as they made their first public appearance since the birth of their son Lucas for the first day of Royal Ascot today

Mike, 42, and Zara Tindall, 36, led the way for glamorous racegoers as they made their first public appearance since the birth of their son Lucas for the first day of Royal Ascot today

Mike, 42, and Zara Tindall, 36, led the way for glamorous racegoers as they made their first public appearance since the birth of their son Lucas for the first day of Royal Ascot today

Mike, 42, and Zara Tindall, 36, led the way for glamorous racegoers as they made their first public appearance since the birth of their son Lucas for the first day of Royal Ascot today

Mike, 42, and Zara Tindall, 36, led the way for glamorous racegoers as they made their first public appearance since the birth of their son Lucas for the first day of Royal Ascot today

Strike a pose! Looking as stunning as a rainbow, these women appeared elegant in various pastel shades when attending Ascot in matching frocks and hats

Strike a pose! Looking as stunning as a rainbow, these women appeared elegant in various pastel shades when attending Ascot in matching frocks and hats

Strike a pose! Looking as stunning as a rainbow, these women appeared elegant in various pastel shades when attending Ascot in matching frocks and hats

Double trouble: This pair dazzled when arriving at the races in elaborate ensembles, featuring eye-catching red and yellow designs (pictured)

Double trouble: This pair dazzled when arriving at the races in elaborate ensembles, featuring eye-catching red and yellow designs (pictured)

A duo, dressed in vibrant frocks, pose together when arriving at Ascot

A duo, dressed in vibrant frocks, pose together when arriving at Ascot

Double trouble: These pairs dazzled when arriving at the races in elaborate ensembles – including eye-catching red and yellow designs (pictured left) and a bright orange frock (pictured right)

Among those who appeared delighted to attend was TV presenter Charlotte Hawkins, who opted for a stunning cream and lemon yellow ensemble

Among those who appeared delighted to attend was TV presenter Charlotte Hawkins, who opted for a stunning cream and lemon yellow ensemble

Among those who appeared delighted to attend was TV presenter Charlotte Hawkins, who opted for a stunning cream and lemon yellow ensemble 

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Charlotte Hawkins was one of the famous faces who attended the first day of Royal Ascot.

The TV presenter exuded elegance in a striking midi dress by Laura Green London, teamed with a Laylaleigh Millinery fascinator and embellished heels. Bravo to her stylist Sophie Kirkwood!

Crafted from lustrous silk, Charlotte’s dress combines a fit-and-flare silhouette with a colour-block print, providing a refreshing update to the classic style.

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Monochrome magic! Others opted for a more elegant low-key black-and-white look for the raceday in Berkshire today

Monochrome magic! Others opted for a more elegant low-key black-and-white look for the raceday in Berkshire today

Others opted for a more elegant low-key look for the raceday, with one opting to wear a monochrome lace ensemble to the event

Others opted for a more elegant low-key look for the raceday, with one opting to wear a monochrome lace ensemble to the event

Monochrome magic! Others opted for a more elegant low-key black-and-white look for the raceday in Berkshire today 

Feeling floral! Another racegoer wowed in a elegant oversized flower fascinator with yellow and red petals (pictured)

Feeling floral! Another racegoer wowed in a elegant oversized flower fascinator with yellow and red petals (pictured)

Feeling floral! Another racegoer wowed in a elegant oversized flower fascinator with yellow and red petals (pictured) 

Extravagant headpieces and playful facemasks appeared to be the order of the day for racegoers, who were overjoyed to be back at the races after 18 months of Covid restrictions

Extravagant headpieces and playful facemasks appeared to be the order of the day for racegoers, who were overjoyed to be back at the races after 18 months of Covid restrictions

Extravagant headpieces and playful facemasks appeared to be the order of the day for racegoers, who were overjoyed to be back at the races after 18 months of Covid restrictions

Extravagant headpieces and playful facemasks appeared to be the order of the day for racegoers, who were overjoyed to be back at the races after 18 months of Covid restrictions

Some wore rainbow themed accessories for the event today, in a tribute to NHS workers during the Covid-19 pandemic  

One elegant racegoer posed in a power blue gown with pussybow and pearl detailing as she arrived at the event today

One elegant racegoer posed in a power blue gown with pussybow and pearl detailing as she arrived at the event today

One elegant racegoer posed in a power blue gown with pussybow and pearl detailing as she arrived at the event today

One elegant racegoer posed in a power blue gown with pussybow and pearl detailing as she arrived at the event today

One elegant racegoer posed in a power blue gown with pussybow and pearl detailing as she arrived at the event today 

Appearing on Radio 4 today, John said the monarch was ‘fanatic’ about horse racing, and called her energy levels were ‘incredible’ despite her age.

He said: ‘It’s remarkable. The Queen’s energy levels are incredible. She’s 95.

‘She went down to the G7 this week, and trundled back on the train in the middle of the night and the energy will be raised higher again for a week like Ascot.’

However he said the experience would be different for the monarch, adding: ‘In the past, she would have gone and looked at horses in the paddock, even though they weren’t hers because she is so fascinated in the breed so she’d want go and look at the stallion prospects of the future.’

John continued: Every race that takes place every day of the week, the Queen will certainly read the Racing Post every morning, look at the breeding of all the winners the day before, and see that these stallions that she uses will be potential horses for her own mares.

‘It’s a deep fascination, a very broad escapism for all the other things that the Queen has to deal with in her life.’  

Zara opted for a stunning monochrome polkadot dress for the occasion, which marked her first public outing with her husband since she gave birth to Lucas in March

Zara opted for a stunning monochrome polkadot dress for the occasion, which marked her first public outing with her husband since she gave birth to Lucas in March

Zara opted for a stunning monochrome polkadot dress for the occasion, which marked her first public outing with her husband since she gave birth to Lucas in March 

The Queen's granddaughter was enthusiastic and could be seen leading her husband by his hand into the event earlier today

The Queen's granddaughter was enthusiastic and could be seen leading her husband by his hand into the event earlier today

The Queen's granddaughter was enthusiastic and could be seen leading her husband by his hand into the event earlier today

The Queen's granddaughter was enthusiastic and could be seen leading her husband by his hand into the event earlier today

The Queen’s granddaughter was enthusiastic and could be seen leading her husband by his hand into the event earlier today 

Comedian and Strictly Come Dancing champion Bill Bailey and his wife Kristin Bailey appeared in good spirits as they arrived at the races today (left) and

Comedian and Strictly Come Dancing champion Bill Bailey and his wife Kristin Bailey appeared in good spirits as they arrived at the races today (left) and

TV presenter Rosie Tapner was also in attendance

TV presenter Rosie Tapner was also in attendance

Comedian and Strictly Come Dancing champion Bill Bailey and his wife Kristin Bailey appeared in good spirits as they arrived at the races today (left) while TV presenter Rosie Tapner was also in attendance (right) 

Sporting a fetching kilt and matching tartan hat, one racegoer pulled out all the stops for the event and stayed safe with a rainbow face covering

Sporting a fetching kilt and matching tartan hat, one racegoer pulled out all the stops for the event and stayed safe with a rainbow face covering

Sporting a fetching kilt and matching tartan hat, one racegoer pulled out all the stops for the event and stayed safe with a rainbow face covering

Reality stars were also keen to lap up the atmosphere on the day, with Claudia Smith and Chloe Bowler from Absolutely Ascot in attendance

Reality stars were also keen to lap up the atmosphere on the day, with Claudia Smith and Chloe Bowler from Absolutely Ascot in attendance

Reality stars were also keen to lap up the atmosphere on the day, with Claudia Smith and Chloe Bowler from Absolutely Ascot in attendance

Reality stars were also keen to lap up the atmosphere on the day, with Claudia Smith and Chloe Bowler from Absolutely Ascot in attendance

Reality stars were also keen to lap up the atmosphere on the day, with Claudia Smith and Chloe Bowler from Absolutely Ascot in attendance 

The event is part of a list of pilot events taking place, allowing 12,000 revellers to attend, before the possible lifting of all measures to curtail the covid-19 pandemic in July

The event is part of a list of pilot events taking place, allowing 12,000 revellers to attend, before the possible lifting of all measures to curtail the covid-19 pandemic in July

The event is part of a list of pilot events taking place, allowing 12,000 revellers to attend, before the possible lifting of all measures to curtail the covid-19 pandemic in July

Here come the girls! Royal Ascot racegoers held nothing back when it came to choosing eye-catching fashion for the day

Here come the girls! Royal Ascot racegoers held nothing back when it came to choosing eye-catching fashion for the day

Here come the girls! Royal Ascot racegoers held nothing back when it came to choosing eye-catching fashion for the day 

The former Miss. World - who shared her only child Jonathan with Sir Bruce Forsyth until he passed away in 2017 - could be seen posing as she arrived at the event today

The former Miss. World - who shared her only child Jonathan with Sir Bruce Forsyth until he passed away in 2017 - could be seen posing as she arrived at the event today

Sir Bruce Forsyth's widow Lady Wilnelia, 64, cut an elegant figure in a black and white jumpsuit at the event today (pictured)

Sir Bruce Forsyth's widow Lady Wilnelia, 64, cut an elegant figure in a black and white jumpsuit at the event today (pictured)

Sir Bruce Forsyth’s widow Lady Wilnelia, 64, – who shared her only child Jonathan with Sir Bruce Forsyth until he passed away in 2017 – cut an elegant figure in a black and white jumpsuit at the event today (pictured)

Racegoers were happy to lap up the sunshine on the first day of Royal Ascot in Berkshire today (pictured, two women relax on a bench)

Racegoers were happy to lap up the sunshine on the first day of Royal Ascot in Berkshire today (pictured, two women relax on a bench)

Racegoers were happy to lap up the sunshine on the first day of Royal Ascot in Berkshire today (pictured, two women relax on a bench) 

Last year – when Ascot was held behind closed doors – was the first time the Queen had missed it in her entire reign. 

Many of the glamourous racegoers in attendance opted to wear matching facemasks with the colourful ensembles.  

Among those who appeared delighted to attend was TV presenter Charlotte Hawkins, who opted for a stunning cream and lemon yellow outfit. 

Meanwhile another wowed in a baby blue tulle midi gown, which she perfectly coordinated with a matching facemask and huge fascinator, complete with pearl detailing. 

The racing enthusiast opted to carry a small white handbag featured an illustration of a horse and jockey to the event

The racing enthusiast opted to carry a small white handbag featured an illustration of a horse and jockey to the event

The racing enthusiast opted to carry a small white handbag featured an illustration of a horse and jockey to the event

The racing enthusiast opted to carry a small white handbag featured an illustration of a horse and jockey to the event

Racing enthusiast Charlotte opted to carry a small white handbag featured an illustration of a horse and jockey to the event (pictured) 

Many of those attending appeared to be in high spirits as they arrived the event today, which is part of a government pilot scheme to reopen large-scale events

Many of those attending appeared to be in high spirits as they arrived the event today, which is part of a government pilot scheme to reopen large-scale events

Many of those attending appeared to be in high spirits as they arrived the event today, which is part of a government pilot scheme to reopen large-scale events 

Simply stunning! These glamorous ladies put on a glamorous display in flowing frocks and eye catching head wear

Simply stunning! These glamorous ladies put on a glamorous display in flowing frocks and eye catching head wear

Simply stunning! These glamorous ladies put on a glamorous display in flowing frocks and eye catching head wear 

Extravagant headpieces and playful facemasks appeared to be the order of the day for racegoers, who were overjoyed to be back at the races after 18 months of Covid restrictions

Extravagant headpieces and playful facemasks appeared to be the order of the day for racegoers, who were overjoyed to be back at the races after 18 months of Covid restrictions

Extravagant headpieces and playful facemasks appeared to be the order of the day for racegoers, who were overjoyed to be back at the races after 18 months of Covid restrictions 

Racegoers pulled out all the stops as they attended the first day of the race after 18 months of Covid restrictions, opting to wear a dazzling array of dresses, colourful face masks and over-the-top head gear

Racegoers pulled out all the stops as they attended the first day of the race after 18 months of Covid restrictions, opting to wear a dazzling array of dresses, colourful face masks and over-the-top head gear

Racegoers pulled out all the stops as they attended the first day of the race after 18 months of Covid restrictions, opting to wear a dazzling array of dresses, colourful face masks and over-the-top head gear

Racegoers pulled out all the stops as they attended the first day of the race after 18 months of Covid restrictions, opting to wear a dazzling array of dresses, colourful face masks and over-the-top head gear

Racegoers pulled out all the stops as they attended the first day of the race after 18 months of Covid restrictions, opting to wear a dazzling array of dresses, colourful face masks and over-the-top head gear

Double trouble! One pair of friends wore matching outfits for the occasion, opting for green floral gowns, nude heels and black face masks

Double trouble! One pair of friends wore matching outfits for the occasion, opting for green floral gowns, nude heels and black face masks

Double trouble! One pair of friends wore matching outfits for the occasion, opting for green floral gowns, nude heels and black face masks

Groups of people appeared in great spirits as they headed to the races and embraced the chance to get dressed up as they posed outside the venue

Groups of people appeared in great spirits as they headed to the races and embraced the chance to get dressed up as they posed outside the venue

Groups of people appeared in great spirits as they headed to the races and embraced the chance to get dressed up as they posed outside the venue 

Others plumped for costume-inspired looks with one couple wearing a full orange and yellow striped ensemble for the occasion. 

The full spectrum of race day style was on show as the first revellers arrived at Royal Ascot. 

Unsurprisingly, hats where the focus of many racegoers’ outfits, with flowers, feathers and beading all on display. 

The event comes under the Government’s Events Research Programme, and involves the expanded trialling of the NHS App and lateral flow tests to demonstrate a person’s Covid status. 

Ascot had been planning for an attendance of 4,000 a day. The new figure will allow all those who rolled over 2020 bookings to be accommodated with a ‘material but not significant’ number of tickets left over, according to a track spokesperson. 

The number of spectators will be well below the usual attendance of over 300,000 over the five days but the increased number was welcomed by Frankie Dettori, whose 73 royal meeting victories have only been bettered by Lester Piggott (116).  

Armed police officers could be seen standing guard as race-goers arrive on the first day of the Royal Ascot horse racing meet

Armed police officers could be seen standing guard as race-goers arrive on the first day of the Royal Ascot horse racing meet

Armed police officers could be seen standing guard as race-goers arrive on the first day of the Royal Ascot horse racing meet 

Forget the action on the track! Racegoers do their best to steal the show in daring hats - which include bizarre shapes and eye-catching designs

Forget the action on the track! Racegoers do their best to steal the show in daring hats - which include bizarre shapes and eye-catching designs

Forget the action on the track! Racegoers do their best to steal the show in daring hats - which include bizarre shapes and eye-catching designs

Forget the action on the track! Racegoers do their best to steal the show in daring hats - which include bizarre shapes and eye-catching designs

Forget the action on the track! Racegoers do their best to steal the show in daring hats – which include bizarre shapes and eye-catching designs

The event is part of a list of pilot events taking place, allowing 12,000 revellers to attend, before the possible lifting of all measures to curtail the covid-19 pandemic in July

The event is part of a list of pilot events taking place, allowing 12,000 revellers to attend, before the possible lifting of all measures to curtail the covid-19 pandemic in July

The event is part of a list of pilot events taking place, allowing 12,000 revellers to attend, before the possible lifting of all measures to curtail the covid-19 pandemic in July

Strike a pose! Looking as stunning as a rainbow, these women appeared elegant in various pastel shades when attending Ascot in matching frocks and hats

Strike a pose! Looking as stunning as a rainbow, these women appeared elegant in various pastel shades when attending Ascot in matching frocks and hats

Strike a pose! Looking as stunning as a rainbow, these women appeared elegant in various pastel shades when attending Ascot in matching frocks and hats

Strike a pose! Looking as stunning as a rainbow, these women appeared elegant in various pastel shades when attending Ascot in matching frocks and hats

Strike a pose! Looking as stunning as a rainbow, these women appeared elegant in various pastel shades when attending Ascot in matching frocks and hats

One woman opted to wear an eyecatching large yellow headband for the event, complete with feather and butterfly detailing (pictured)

One woman opted to wear an eyecatching large yellow headband for the event, complete with feather and butterfly detailing (pictured)

One woman opted to wear an eyecatching large yellow headband for the event, complete with feather and butterfly detailing (pictured) 

One enthusiastic race-goer donned a hat featuring colourful birds on the first day of the Royal Ascot horse racing meet (pictured)

One enthusiastic race-goer donned a hat featuring colourful birds on the first day of the Royal Ascot horse racing meet (pictured)

One enthusiastic race-goer donned a hat featuring colourful birds on the first day of the Royal Ascot horse racing meet (pictured)

One enthusiastic race-goer donned a hat featuring colourful birds on the first day of the Royal Ascot horse racing meet (pictured)

One enthusiastic race-goer donned a hat featuring colourful birds on the first day of the Royal Ascot horse racing meet (pictured) 

Dressed to the nines! This group of women looked nothing short of stunning in their colour coordinated white and blue frocks and statement fascinators

Dressed to the nines! This group of women looked nothing short of stunning in their colour coordinated white and blue frocks and statement fascinators

Dressed to the nines! This group of women looked nothing short of stunning in their colour coordinated white and blue frocks and statement fascinators 

Once inside, groups of friends could be seen crowding together at the pilot event, which is part of a government scheme allowing a crowd of 12,000 to gather

Once inside, groups of friends could be seen crowding together at the pilot event, which is part of a government scheme allowing a crowd of 12,000 to gather

Once inside, groups of friends could be seen crowding together at the pilot event, which is part of a government scheme allowing a crowd of 12,000 to gather 

Safety in style! One woman opted to make a statement with her mask as it read she'd only remove it for champagne

Safety in style! One woman opted to make a statement with her mask as it read she'd only remove it for champagne

Another woman made sure her face covering was dotted with pearl detailing to match her dress and fascinator

Another woman made sure her face covering was dotted with pearl detailing to match her dress and fascinator

Safety in style! These woman opted to match their masks to their ensembles as they kept themselves protected on the day, with one featuring the words ‘only remove for champagne’ and the other dotted with pearls 

Dettori, who was leading rider at the royal meeting for the seventh time last year, said: ‘There’s nothing better than Royal Ascot with people. I know it’s not 60,000 (a day) but it’s better than what we thought. 

‘Last year I was leading rider at Royal Ascot and won three Group Ones, including the Gold Cup. To have nobody there to see any of that, it was like someone had cut my arm off.

‘Those are the biggest races we’ve got here and I won them in front of empty grandstands. It goes without saying it wasn’t the same.’ 

Visitors to the Royal and Queen Anne enclosures have to abide by a strict dress code, which does not allow bare midriffs or strapless dresses, but for guests in the Windsor and other enclosures the rules are more relaxed.  

Many of the racegoers opted to wear face coverings as they arrived at the event, which is one of a pilot scheme allowing 12,00 revellers to attend

Many of the racegoers opted to wear face coverings as they arrived at the event, which is one of a pilot scheme allowing 12,00 revellers to attend

Many of the racegoers opted to wear face coverings as they arrived at the event, which is one of a pilot scheme allowing 12,00 revellers to attend

Gentlemen arriving at the event opted to wear their the traditional tails and top hats (pictured)

Gentlemen arriving at the event opted to wear their the traditional tails and top hats (pictured)

Gentlemen arriving at the event opted to wear their the traditional tails and top hats (pictured) 

With the clue in the name, Royal Ascot is hugely popular with the monarchy and Her Majesty is usually a regular at the event. Before the Covid-19 pandemic, she had attended every year since ascending the throne. 

Last year, dedicated Royal Ascot showed off their finest frocks and fascinators while celebrating the fourth day of the racing meet at home. 

Even the most committed fans were left watching jockeys riding, wearing face masks, broadcast virtually.

Among the racing enthusiasts who stayed at home was the Queen, who has been forced to watch the event from Windsor Castle for the first time in her 68-year reign.

In an emotional note shared last year, Her Majesty praised the ‘valiant’ efforts of organisers and said she is sure it will still be the ‘highlight’ of the racing calendar, despite the ‘different’ circumstances.

Many of those attending the event today appeared elated to be back at the races after 18 months of Covid restrictions

Many of those attending the event today appeared elated to be back at the races after 18 months of Covid restrictions

Many of those attending the event today appeared elated to be back at the races after 18 months of Covid restrictions

Visitors to the Royal and Queen Anne enclosures have to abide by a strict dress code, which does not allow bare midriffs or strapless dresses, but for guests in the Windsor and other enclosures the rules are more relaxed

Visitors to the Royal and Queen Anne enclosures have to abide by a strict dress code, which does not allow bare midriffs or strapless dresses, but for guests in the Windsor and other enclosures the rules are more relaxed

Visitors to the Royal and Queen Anne enclosures have to abide by a strict dress code, which does not allow bare midriffs or strapless dresses, but for guests in the Windsor and other enclosures the rules are more relaxed

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