Royal Ascot fashion: Best dressed, wackiest hats and myriad umbrellas

The annual horse racing meet has seen some stellar sartorial statements over the past five days

Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

The Royal Ascot horse racing meet returned this week with much fanfare and plenty of flamboyant fashion.

An Elon Musk-inspired rocket ship is perched on the head of one racegoer, while another sports a giant pink fascinator covered in delicate butterflies. Wide red frills make up one particularly eye-catching hat, with a fluffy white swan protruding from the top. Even Jimbo, the guide dog, has donned his finest headgear for the occasion.

Take a look through the photo gallery above to see some of the best looks from Royal Ascot 2021.

It's one of the high points on Britain's social calendar, usually welcoming in excess of 300,000 spectators across five days. After being held behind closed doors in 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2021 event has been opened up to 12,000 daily racegoers, including owners and members of the public, with a number of royal and celebrity guests in attendance.

Ascot Racecourse was first founded by Queen Anne in 1711, with the first Royal Meeting held in 1768. Royal presence has meant over the years strict codes of fashion have been followed, with hats and fascinators, in particular, becoming a mandatory form of sartorial expression.

This year, the addition of wacky face masks have made for a creative line-up of stand-out looks, in line with coronavirus restrictions.

On behalf of the crown this year, Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Anne, the Princess Royal, Zara and Mike Tindall, and Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, were all present.

Queen Elizabeth II had been notably absent, although she did arrive on Saturday afternoon to cheer on four of her horses. It is the first time since 2019 she has attended the event, as she skipped it last year because of the pandemic.

Also in the crowd were Simon Cowell and partner Lauren Silverman, as well as television presenter Rosie Tapner and newsreader Charlotte Hawkins.

Take a look through the photo gallery below to see more looks from celebrities and royals on day one of the event:

The event began on Tuesday and ends on Saturday.