Glamorous racegoers have arrived for the start of Royal Ascot as the five-day festival gets underway today.
Jewel-coloured dresses, statement hats and dapper morning suits were all on display as revellers descended on the Berkshire racecourse this morning.
Royal Ascot, the jewel in the crown of the UK racing calendar, starts today with the Queen Anne Stakes and will run until Ladies’ Day on Friday.
The Queen will officially mark the start of today’s festivities with the royal carriage procession at around 2pm – but racegoers are wasting no time in getting the party started.
Time for a selfie! Glamorous racegoers arrive for the first day of Royal Ascot as the five-day festival gets underway
Perfectly polished: The well-turned out Royal Ascot staff pose for a photo before festivities get into full swing at the course
Hat’s off to them! Journalist Flora MacDonald Johnston, left, and Edith Ligere opted for over-the-top headwear for the event
Starting young! Dapper Chase Spranklin, 10, from Florida, was dressed to the nines for his outing to Royal Ascot today
On their way! Racegoers snap a picture en route to the course, left, while two friends arrive in co-ordinating outfits, right
Setting up camp: One of the favourite bits about Royal Ascot for many people is the picnic that takes place outside, pictured
Cheers to them! A group of well-dressed racegoers toast to the start of a fun day with a picnic near Ascot Racecourse
Great British past-time: Polite racegoers wait in line in their Ascot finery as they arrive at the Berkshire racecourse today
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.
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.
Ready for the fun! Racegoers beamed as they arrived at Royal Ascot for the start of the five-day race meet today
Fun and fabulous: Journalist Flora MacDonald Johnston, left, and Edite Ligere show off extraordinary hats at Royal Ascot
Final touch-ups: A racegoer helps secure her friend’s navy fascinator as the pair kick off a day of fun at Royal Ascot
‘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.
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.’
The boys have arrived! Well-dressed gents clutching an edition of Racing Post arrive ready for the day at Royal Ascot
Worth the wait! The queue stretched out from the entrance as racegoers got ready to start the day’s festivities
Security checks: Searches are carried out at the entrance to the Queen Anne Enclosure at Ascot Racecourse this morning
Bag checks: Security checks were in place for all racegoers as they made their way into the grounds this morning
On alert: A security officer and her sniffer dog move through the crowds at the entrance to Ascot Racecourse this morning
Ready to go! Impeccably dressed stewards are briefed as they prepare for the first day of Royal Ascot this morning
Safety checks: Police officers with sniffer dogs patrolled the grounds ahead of the arrival of racegoers at Royal Ascot
Patrol: Teams of police officers and sniffer dogs were dispatched to secure the racecourse ahead of the festival today
Calm before the storm: The entrance to the Ascot Racecourse, where guest bag searches will take place during the day
Before the excitement: The beautiful parade ring at Ascot Racecourse ahead of the start of Royal Ascot today
How To Dress Well For Ascot
Dresses and skirts should fall above the knee or longer
Dresses and tops should have straps of one inch or greater
Jumpsuits are welcome, but should fall below the knee
Trouser suits welcome, but should be full length and of matching colour
Headpieces must have a solid base of four inches or more
Queen Anne Enclosure
Strapless dresses or tops are not permitted
A hat, headpiece or fascinator should be worn at all times
Trouser suits must be full length, jumpsuits should fall below the knee, shorts are not permitted
One shoulder dresses, strapless tops and bardot are nor permitted
A hat, headpiece or fascinator must be worn at all times
Trouser suits are welcome, they should be of full length and matching colour
Jumpsuits are permitted but should be below the knee
Dress for a formal occasion, with a hat or fascinator