Hold on to your hats (and your hemlines)! Ascot ladies battle with the wind as gales blowing through Royal course play havoc with race day outfits
10:37 GMT, 23 June 2012
As howling winds hit Royal Ascot yesterday, race goers in their race day finery were forced to hold on to their hats as gusts of wind threatened to send them soaring across the parade ground.
Girls in floaty dresses came a cropper as strong gusts lifted up their hemlines, revealing a dress code-flouting expanse of leg – and on some occasions, even their underwear.
Brollies were wrestled back into shape after turning inside out, and carefully blow-dried hair was whipped into tangled birds' nests.
Given that this was the fourth day of inclement weather at the Royal meet, punters were well-prepared for the rain – but little could prepare them for the gales.
Stiff breeze: Racegoers struggle in the wind to keep their hats on and their hemlines in place
A racegoer's hat flies off in strong winds on the fourth day of racing at Royal Ascot
Thar she blows! A lady struggles with her hat as it wraps itself around her face
Even the Queen, who has small
curtain weights sewn into the hemlines of her coats and dresses to prevent
them being caught by the wind and would no doubt have had plenty of hat
pins in place put a hand to the brim of her hat as she entered the windy
parade ground in her carriage
Queen arrived at 2pm in the royal procession to
take her place in the royal box from where she will watch her
three-year-old thoroughbred Estimate run in the 5pm Queen's Vase.
Wardrobe malfunctions aside, the parade of extravagant
headgear and colourful outfits cut a swathe through the gloom as the
determined flock of racegoers carried on regardless, sipping champagne
and queuing at the totes to place their bets.
Some had swapped their heels for
Wellington boots after a shower hit the race course this morning, while
others sheltered under the brims of their hats.
yesterday's Ladies Day, afternoon downpours saw race goers sheltering
under umbrellas or dashing for cover to protect their hats. Soggy and
dispirited, some admitted the ‘awful’ weather had been a ‘real
In truly British style though,
the show went on, and fun was had by all.
For yesterday, forecasters warned
that there is little let-up in sight, with the wet weather set to stick
around throughout the weekend and into Wimbledon week.
England and Wales are on course for the wettest and least sunny June since records began more than 230 years ago.
are now nine flood alerts in place across the UK – most in the South
West – and the figure could soon rise as the heavy rain continues.
To add to the misery, 50mph winds are set to blow in from the Atlantic at the weekend.
Temperatures, forecasters say, could struggle to reach more than 15C (59F).
Battling forth: The hat's off and the umbrella providing shelter for this woman
Blowing a gale: A strong gust lifts up a lady's coat and threatens to remove her hat, while RIGHT, a fascinator takes flight
Wardrobe malfunctions: Hat pins were the order of the day
Accessories away: The breeze sends these racegoers' pashminas flying
Careful! Guests gripped their floaty hemlines tightly to prevent them flying up
Left, if this gent was keeping with Scottish sartorial tradition he will no doubt be keen to hold onto his hemline. RIGHT A gentleman's top hat comes a cropper
Oops! A nasty surprise for this lady as her hat blows off
Hair don't: The gusts played havoc with ladies' carefully styled locks
The show must go on: Rain never stops play for hardy Brits determined to enjoy themselves despite the rain
Hold on to your hats! Chic racegoers braves the wind and rain as temperatures drop to 15c
Windy weather whipped up guests' carefully blowdried hair
Good choice: Welly boots were the most sensible footwear for the conditions as the heavens opened this morning
Jolly: Brightly coloured hats cut a swathe through the gloom
Braving the rain: A broad-brimmed hat would at least provide some shelter from the wet weather, while RIGHT, this lady topped off her outfit with a floral brolly