Is that your lucky colour, Ma'am With Philip by her side, a beaming Queen wears favourite blue as she leads Royal carriage procession on first day of Ascot
Queen last year wore blue on 29 per cent of her public engagements – three times as often as she wore any other colour
Royal course renamed Golden Jubilee Stakes as Diamond Jubilee Stakes in her honour
18:49 GMT, 19 June 2012
The Queen arrived for Royal Ascot today amid all the pomp and pageantry expected at the first day of the world-famous race meet.
As befits Royal tradition dating back 300 years to when Queen Anne founded the Royal Ascot in 1711, the monarch, accompanied by Prince Philip in the horse-drawn royal carriage, led a procession from from Windsor Castle to the Berkshire race course this afternoon.
The Queen, whose choice of hat colour is always the subject of frenzied bets, looked immaculate as ever in a powder blue dress and coat by Stewart Parvin.
The colour would have come to no surprise to Royal fashion watchers, who recently found that the Queen last year chose to wear blue on 29 per cent of her public engagements – three times as often as she wore any other colour.
Her trimmed hat, by Rachel Trevor-Morgan, matched the fabric of her coat perfectly, and on her lapel she wore an impressive diamond and aquamarine brooch.
Prince Philip, who has recovered well
from the nasty bladder infection that saw him admitted to hospital
following the Jubilee weekend celebrations, sat beside his wife for the
dressed: The Queen looked splendid in a powder blue coat and dress as
she arrived by carriage with Prince Philip for the opening day
Close: The Queen and Camilla chat as they enter the Royal Enclosure – but up until 1955, divorced women were prohibited from entering thanks to stringent rules, meaning Camilla would not have been allowed to join the monarch
In her element: The Queen has seen 63 of her horses win at Ascot over the years. RIGHT, Prince Philip accompanied his wife to the meet today
The Queen was greeted by cheers and applause as she arrived at the course, and shouts of God save the Queen rang out around the parade ground as she entered in the royal carriage.
The royal couple waved at the crowds as they made their way down the racecourse, many racegoers giving three cheers for the Queen as the carriage went past.
Umbrellas had been stowed away in each carriage, but despite a few clouds in the sky, the sun shone on the royals.
The Queen and Philip were joined by the Viscount Ullswater and Lord Vestey.
The Duchess of Cornwall, following in the second carriage with the Prince of Wales, wore a stone-coloured dress and coat by Anna Valentine, a Philip Treacy hat and gold Jimmy Choo shoes.
One cheeky racegoer shouted out: 'Charlie!' as the carriage went by, causing the Prince of Wales to turn around with a smile and wave.
Princess Eugenie, riding in the third carriage, cut a sophisticated figure in a teal dress with black lace shoulder detail and a fishtail skirt, a remake of a vintage dress made for her by Christine Atkinson.
Family affair: The Queen was joined by Camilla, in metallic-trimmed beige coat, and Eugenie, in teal dress, for today's meet
Chic: After the success of her cream outfit at yesterday's Order of the Garter ceremony, Camilla once again wore a pale cream outfit. RIGHT, the Queen is traditionally joined by fellow Royals and their guests
Dapper: Prince Charles swapped his feathered hat from yesterday's Garter procession for a smart top hat as he sat beside Camilla for the carriage procession
Picking a winner: The Queen examines the running
order from her vantage point in the royal box, while RIGHT, Princess
Anne cheers as she watches Frankel run in the first race
Looking mint: Princess Anne (left) wore a pale green dress with matching jacket, trimmed with a wide-brimmed hat
Smart: Princess Eugenie adhered to the dress code in her neat teal outfit with black trim and peplum, a remake of a vintage design specially made for the princess by Christine Atkinson. She paired the dress with LK Bennett suede heels, a Piers Atkinson teal hat and Louboutin bag. RIGHT, Eugenie with the Duchess of Gloucester
Many racegoers chose to wear red, white and blue in celebration of the Jubilee year, others wearing Union Jack hats.
The racecourse has been decorated
with four kilometres of bunting to add to the occasion, with a 1950s
style street party taking place in the Silver Ring area. Over the week,
80,000 Union Jack flags are being handed out to racegoers watching the
In the Royal Ascot programme, a
message from the Queen reads: 'I extend a warm welcome to everyone
attending Royal Ascot in my Diamond Jubilee year.
'As I reflect on the last 60 years,
much has changed for our world and of course for Ascot racecourse.
However, one constant is that each year the eyes of all those who love
horseracing are upon these beautiful surroundings during this special
week in June.
'The best horses convene here,
trained and ridden by the best in their profession and increasingly we
have competitors and visitors joining from all over the world.
'I would like to thank you for the
welcome my family and I have always received at Royal Ascot and to wish
you all a most enjoyable day.'
The Queen, an avid racing fan, moved from the parade ground to the Royal Box to watch the day's action.
Royal Ascot has honoured the Queen by re-naming a race to mark the monarch's 60-year reign.
The Diamond, formerly Golden, Jubilee Stakes, will be run on Saturday – the last day of the five-day sporting event.
The Queen has entered one of her own
thoroughbreds, Carlton House, for the Prince of Wales Stakes being
staged at the meet tomorrow.
She has owned 63 Ascot winners so far, 20 of them winning at Royal Ascot.
Off to place a bet: Thousands of racegoers are expected to flood through the gates of the Berkshire course today
Little Bridge ridden by Zac Purton wins the Kings Stand Stakes during day one of the 2012 Royal Ascot meeting
For the many visitors, Royal Ascot is
more than a sporting occasion; it is also a social and fashion event
for the 300,000 spectators who will flock to the Berkshire racecourse
organisers have raised the bar in the sartorial stakes by tightening and
clarifying the dress code at the annual summer event, including
imposing a ban on fascinators in the royal enclosure.
The move comes amid criticisms of
sartorial standards which have been loosely enforced in recent years,
but help will be on hand from a team of specially trained 'dress code
A selection of waistcoats, ties, pashminas and other items will be available at the turnstiles for those who need them.
In the royal enclosure, fascinators – which are often favoured by the Duchess of Cambridge – are no longer deemed acceptable.
will also be expected to wear skirts or dresses of 'modest length'
which fall just above the knee or longer. This clarifies previous
guidance which stated miniskirts were 'considered unsuitable'.
off the shoulder, halter neck, spaghetti straps and dresses with a
strap of less than one inch (2.5cm) are not permitted and midriffs must
For men, black
or grey morning dress with a waistcoat and tie are now compulsory in
this area of the course and cravats will not be allowed. A black or grey
top hat and black shoes must also be worn.
the grandstand, which is open to the public and subject to less
stringent rules, a hat or fascinator will be compulsory for women. For
men, a suit and tie will now be imperative.
Royal Ascot's Ladies' Day, held this year on Thursday, will see outlandish and incredible hats worn by female race goers.
racecourse is also staging an exhibition titled 60 Years of Royal Ascot
during the Reign of Her Majesty the Queen, which will be on display for
the duration of the meeting.
Weatherby, the Queen's representative at Ascot, said: 'Royal Ascot has a
long standing and privileged affiliation with the Queen, whose first
winner at the event was in 1953 with Choir Boy who landed the Royal Hunt
'The Queen has owned
no fewer than 63 Ascot winners, 20 of them at the royal meeting, and
it's always a great thrill for everyone when the royal colours are
successful. It would be marvellous for that to happen this year and we
wish her every success.'