Sophie Wessex stood out from the crowd in a fabulous feathered hat as she led the royal arrivals on the second day of Royal Ascot.
The Countess of Wessex, 56, joined husband Prince Edward, 57, Princess Anne, 70, and Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall for a second day of fun at the Berkshire racing festival.
Sophie cut an elegant figure in an A-line midi skirt printed with large purple flowers, which she paired with a simple white blouse, pink pumps and a purple snakeskin-effect clutch bag. The outing came hours after she spoke about the ‘giant-sized hole’ left by Prince Philip’s death in a new BBC interview.
Meanwhile the Duchess of Cornwall opted for a classic cream ensemble, finished with a wide-brimmed hat. Princess Anne brought a splash of colour to proceedings in an emerald green dress, which she accessorised with an off-white hat, heeled pumps and a pair of gloves.
The royals are joined by Princess Margaret’s son, David Armstrong-Jones, and the Duchess of Cornwall’s ex-husband, Andrew Parker-Bowles.
The Queen is notably absent from the line-up, having also missed out on the first day of the race meet yesterday. Her racing manager explained Her Majesty is hoping to make an appearance at Ascot later this week.
A total of 12,000 revellers have been granted tickets to each day of Royal Ascot as part of a list of pilot events taking place before the possible lifting of all lockdown restrictions next month.
Leading the royal arrivals! Prince Edward and Sophie Wessex smile as they arrive for the second day of Royal Ascot
Glamorous in green! Princess Anne cut an elegant figure in a green dress, which she wore with off-white accessories
Beaming: Prince Charles smiled as he arrived with the Duchess of Cornwall for a second day at Royal Ascot
Camilla in cream: The Duchess of Cornwall opted for one of her favourite colours as she joined the royals on a day out
Floral fancy! Sophie Wessex looked ready for spring in her A-line skirt, which she paired with a fabulous lilac hat
Playful touch: The Countess of Wessex beamed as she arrived at Royal Ascot with her husband Prince Edward
Breath of fresh air! Sophie Wessex brought a splash of springtime chic to the racing festival today
Royal party: The Duchess of Cornwall’s ex-husband Andrew Parker-Bowles (left) and David Armstrong-Jones arriving today
Glamorous women put on showstopping displays in bright summer frocks while men looked dapper in top hats and tails as they arrived at the Berkshire racecourse for a day of fun in the sun.
As ever, extravagant millinery stole the show and women turned heads in their colourful creations adorned with feathers, jewels and delicate lace.
On Monday Boris Johnson announced a four-week delay to ‘Freedom Day’ – and to the ending of all social distancing measures – but any disappointment looked far from the minds of racegoers as they kicked off the festivities this morning.
Princess Anne, Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall, Sophie Wessex, Prince Edward and Zara and Mike Tindall all turned out for the start of Royal Ascot yesterday.
On Monday Boris Johnson announced a four-week delay to ‘Freedom Day’ – and to the ending of all social distancing measures – but any disappointment looked far from the minds of racegoers (pictured: a view of the parade before the first race)
Sophie, Countess of Wessex attends Royal Ascot today looking pretty in pink, opting for natural make-up and understated accessories
The Princess Royal looked elegant in emerald green today as she arrived for the day’s racing, wearing a leaf-inspired brooch and her snazzy shades
Lady Carolyn Warren, daughter of the 7th Earl of Carnarvon, the Queen’s former racing adviser, whose husband John Warren is Her Majesty’s current one, arrives at Royal Ascot wearing a chic pink floral dress with a cream cropped jacket, carrying a Saint Laurent bag
And they’re off! A group of women admire the pristine grounds as they arrive for the second day for Royal Ascot
Matching magic! The Tootsie Rollers arrive in co-ordinating dresses for the second day of the five-day race meet
Famous faces: Charlotte Hawkins arriving at Royal Ascot. Right, Francesca Cumani wearing a hat by Rachel Trevor Morgan
Ready for her close up: An elegantly dressed woman in navy and neutrals smiles for photographers at Royal Ascot
Careful co-ordination: Revellers strike a pose in elegant blue-tone ensembles (left) and another goes for gold (right)
Pastel perfection! A group of glamorous racegoers arrive for the second day of Royal Ascot in colourful summer frocks
Candy-coloured creations: Soft shades of pink (right) and rainbow accessories (left) proved popular with racegoers
Taking in the views: Women wearing shades of mint and blue look out over the grounds at Royal Ascot
The must-have accessory: A face mask printed with a jockey’s silk (left) brought a playful touch to one ensemble
Royal mask-ot: This embroidered face mask added a playful touch to one woman’s Royal Ascot ensemble
Red alert! Women in co-ordinating colour block outfits pose for a photo. Right, putting on her heels for a day at the races
Khadijah Mellah, 20, from Peckham – the first hijab-wearing jockey in a competitive British horse race – poses during Royal Ascot 2021
A glamorous pair of racegoers decked out in floral frocks enjoy a chilled glass of rose on a bench as they watch the day’s events
Kicking off the festivities! Racegoers enjoy Pimm’s and bubbles in the sunshine on the second day of Royal Ascot
Getting some tips? A man smartly dressed in a suit and tie flicks through a newspaper as they action kicks off at Ascot
Four members of the British military look smart in their uniforms as they pose for a photograph on the second day of the Royal Ascot horserace meeting
One notable exception to the royal line-up was the Queen, 95, but Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall were spotted taking a keen interest in the races as her horse King’s Lynn took part in the King’s Stand Stakes -finishing in seventh place.
Camilla looked animated as she clutched her racing programme in the royal box, while discussing the action with her husband.
They were joined by Mike and Zara Tindall making their first public appearance since the birth of their son Lucas in March, Princess Anne, Prince Edward and Sophie Wessex at the Berkshire racecourse for the annual family event.
The Queen missed Royal Ascot for only the second time in 69 years. Her Majesty’s racing manager confirmed the monarch would not be attending yesterday but is hoping to make it later in the week depending on ‘how things go’.
A pop of colour! One Ascot reveller opts for a vibrant poppy-themed hat for the occasion as she posed before the races
Kiss me quick! One racegoer opted for an elaborate lips themed hat which appeared somewhat tricky to manage (left) while another colourful pair looked thrilled to be at the prestigious event (right)
Taking it all in: a group of Ascot racegoers bask in the warm summer sunshine as they enjoy the action on day two
Getting the shot: One woman holds onto her hat as she crouches down to capture her friend looking her best
Dynamic duos! Women were ready for a day out with their friends as they arrived at Royal Ascot for the racing festival
Plenty of personality: This racegoer looked resplendent in a blue headpiece complete with a veil and large feathers
Hats off to them! A feathered creation and wide-brimmed floral sunhat were just two of the stunning headpieces on display
Getting into the spirit! A trumpeter performs at the start of the second day of Royal Ascot this morning
They got the memo! Racegoers wearing shades of purple, blue and mint pose for a photo at the start of Royal Ascot
Fun and fabulous! A polka dot dress (left) and an elegant pink ensemble were just two of the stunning looks at Ascot
Day out! Military personnel enjoy the weather under an umbrella at Royal Ascot, in Berkshire, today
The fizz is flowing! A group of friends toast the afternoon with a bottle (or two) of Moet Champagne – and fish and chips
Racegoers enjoy the festivities from socially distanced benches dotted around the racecourse to comply with Covid-19 restrictions
Finishing touch: Whether they were in understated shades of neutral or vibrant colours, hats turned heads at Ascot
Francesca Cumani, in her Trevor Morgan hat, strolls around the race course on the second day of Royal Ascot
So far the annual Berkshire event has been blessed with glorious sunshine – pictured, a view of the parade before the first race
The Queen’s racing manager John Warren told Radio 4: ‘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.’
He added that the monarch was ‘fanatic’ about horse racing, and called her energy levels ‘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.’
Sope Dirisu (left) and Damson Idris (right) enjoy the private VIP suite hosted by Longines in the Royal Enclosure during Royal Ascot today
The bookmakers do their best to create some shade with umbrellas under the scorching summer sun on day two of Ascot
Lady in red! A female reveller sported an eye-catching top hat adorned with flowers and netting to match her scarlet and white polka dot frock
Dapper: Nicola Zaino arrived with a guest dressed in a soft pink long-sleeved dress for a day of fun in the sun at Ascot
Feathered fancy! Nazar Bullen, from London, is a vision in a pink feathered headpiece and dress at Royal Ascot
Here come the girls! The Tootsie Rollers arrive arm-in-arm at Royal Ascot for the second day of the racing festival
More is more! Nazer Bullen turned heads when she arrived in this extravagant feathered confection
Strike a pose! The Tootsie Rollers got into formation as they posed for a photograph at the start of a day of fun at Royal Ascot
Think pink! Social media star Nino Tsomaya opted for an elegant rose-coloured dress for Royal Ascot
Splash of colour! The Tootsie Rollers added rainbow-coloured hats and headpieces to top off their monochrome looks
Ready for the day: Revellers scan their tickets on their way into the event, which is part of a Covid trial scheme
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.’
The Queen has a number of runners at the Berkshire racecourse, with Mr Warren tipping Tactical in the Jersey Stakes on Saturday as a potential winner.
Last year – when Ascot was held behind closed doors – was the first time the Queen had missed it in her entire reign.