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Royal family arrive for Royal Ascot and Sophie Wessex leads the way

Glamorous racegoers pulled out all the fashion stops for Ladies Day at Royal Ascot – and the royal guests were no exception.

Sophie, Countess of Wessex, 56, who has attended every day of Royal Ascot so far, cut an elegant figure in a sophisticated A-line shirt dress with stunning palm print embroidery on the skirt. 

She finished the look with neutral pumps, a clutch bag and delicate hat. 

Zara Tindall was also in attendance, accompanied by close pals Dolly Maude and Chanelle McCoy, as was her mother, the Princess Royal, 70, who looked radiant in yellow.

Mother-of-three Zara, 40, donned a chic floral number by Erdem with an eye-catching bespoke hat by Sarah Cant and her trusty RayBan sunglasses. Zara’s brother Peter Phillips, 43, was also spotted in the Royal Box enjoying a playful chat with F1 presenter Natalie Pinkham, who arrived with his sister.

Yesterday Sophie was joined by senior royals including Princess Anne, Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall and her husband Prince Edward. 

Zara Tindall was also in attendance at Ladies Day today, accompanied by her close pals Dolly Maude and Chanelle McCoy

Mother-of-three Zara, 40, donned a chic floral number with an eye-catching pink fascinator and neutral make-up, with a pale pink lip to match her headwear

Mother-of-three Zara, 40, donned a chic floral number with an eye-catching pink fascinator and neutral make-up, with a pale pink lip to match her headwear

Mother-of-three Zara, 40, donned a chic floral number by Erdem with an eye-catching bespoke hat by Sarah Cant and neutral make-up, with a pale pink lip to match her headwear

Zara's brother Peter Phillips, 43, was also spotted in the Royal Box enjoying a playful chat with F1 presenter Natalie Pinkham, who arrived with his sister

Zara’s brother Peter Phillips, 43, was also spotted in the Royal Box enjoying a playful chat with F1 presenter Natalie Pinkham, who arrived with his sister

The Queen's grandson Peter Phillips, who finalised his divorce from wife Autumn (née Kelly) this week, looked delighted to catch up with his sister's companion Natalie Pinkham

The Queen’s grandson Peter Phillips, who finalised his divorce from wife Autumn (née Kelly) this week, looked delighted to catch up with his sister’s companion Natalie Pinkham

Royal racing fan: Sophie, who has attended every day of Royal Ascot so far, cut an elegant figure in a sophisticated A-line shirt dress with stunning palm print embroidery on the skirt

The Countess of Wessex arriving today

Royal racing fan: Sophie cut an elegant figure in a sophisticated A-line shirt dress with stunning palm print embroidery

Forest green queen! Sophie Wessex looked radiant in forest green as she led the royal arrivals at Royal Ascot today

Forest green queen! Sophie Wessex looked radiant in forest green as she led the royal arrivals at Royal Ascot today 

Top of her game! The Countess of Wessex finished her ensemble with a beautiful biscuit coloured hat with rose detailing

Sophie Wessex arriving today

Top of her game! The Countess of Wessex finished her ensemble with a beautiful biscuit coloured hat with rose detailing

Princess Anne pictured arriving at Royal Ascot Ladies Day today looking radiant in a summer yellow coat dress with a cream hat to match

Princess Anne pictured arriving at Royal Ascot Ladies Day today looking radiant in a summer yellow coat dress with a cream hat to match

Traditionally the Queen would join her family at Ascot but she has so far missed out this year due to Covid. There are hopes Her Majesty will be able to attend later this week. 

It was a rainy start to Ladies Day and racegoers arrived at the Berkshire racecourse huddled under umbrellas.  

The race meet has been hit by rain after the balmy summer sunshine enjoyed by racegoers at the start of the week turned to thunderstorms and downpours overnight. 

Not to be put off, racegoers hoisted their skirts up out of the puddles and smiled at waiting photographers as they made their way into the grounds.

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. 

Zara Tindall (centre), Dolly Maude and Chanelle McCoy (right) arrive ahead of day three of Royal Ascot, all looking pretty in pink

Zara Tindall (centre), Dolly Maude and Chanelle McCoy (right) arrive ahead of day three of Royal Ascot, all looking pretty in pink

Zara's on-trend floral dress featured a frill across the bottom of the skirt, and she teamed it with a pair of pale pink suede block heels and a dusky pink clutch bag

Zara's on-trend floral dress featured a frill across the bottom of the skirt, and she teamed it with a pair of pale pink suede block heels and a dusky pink clutch bag

Zara’s on-trend floral dress featured a frill across the bottom of the skirt, and she teamed it with a pair of pale pink suede block heels and a dusky pink clutch bag

Here come the girls! Zara Tindall, Chanelle McCoy, Dolly Maude and Natalie Pinkham all put on a glamorous display as they arrive for Ladies Day

Here come the girls! Zara Tindall, Chanelle McCoy, Dolly Maude and Natalie Pinkham all put on a glamorous display as they arrive for Ladies Day

Pictured from left to right, foursome Natalie Pinkham, Dolly Maude, Zara Tindall and Chanelle McCoy looked to be enjoying their girls day out

Pictured from left to right, foursome Natalie Pinkham, Dolly Maude, Zara Tindall and Chanelle McCoy looked to be enjoying their girls day out

Zara wore her blonde locks in a low ponytail and kept her accessories to the minimum, opting for an elegant pair of gold drop earrings

Zara wore her blonde locks in a low ponytail and kept her accessories to the minimum, opting for an elegant pair of gold drop earrings

Zara wore her blonde locks in a low ponytail and kept her accessories to the minimum, opting for an elegant pair of gold drop earrings

Rain? What rain! Zara Tindall shares a joke with Chanelle McCoy, wife of Sir AP McCoy OBE, Champion Jump Jockey for 20 consecutive years, and the newest dragon on the TV series Dragon's Den in Ireland

Rain? What rain! Zara Tindall shares a joke with Chanelle McCoy, wife of Sir AP McCoy OBE, Champion Jump Jockey for 20 consecutive years, and the newest dragon on the TV series Dragon’s Den in Ireland

Peter Phillips pictured having a friendly chat with TV presenter Natalie Pinkham, who attended the event today with his sister Zara Tindall

Peter Phillips pictured having a friendly chat with TV presenter Natalie Pinkham, who attended the event today with his sister Zara Tindall

Princess Anne looked delighted to be back at Royal Ascot for the third day running, and sported a chic high collar coat dress with a feathered hat

Princess Anne looked delighted to be back at Royal Ascot for the third day running, and sported a chic high collar coat dress with a feathered hat

The elegant Princess Royal teamed her yellow ensemble with a cream handbag and chic white gloves, along with a string of pearls and a floral brooch above her Jockey Club badge

The elegant Princess Royal teamed her yellow ensemble with a cream handbag and chic white gloves, along with a string of pearls and a floral brooch above her Jockey Club badge

The elegant Princess Royal teamed her yellow ensemble with a cream handbag and chic white gloves, along with a string of pearls and a floral brooch above her Jockey Club badge

The Duchess of Cornwall's ex-husband Andrew Parker-Bowles is pictured arriving looking distinguished with a cane on day three of the Royal Ascot Meeting

The Duchess of Cornwall's ex-husband Andrew Parker-Bowles is pictured arriving looking distinguished with a cane on day three of the Royal Ascot Meeting

The Duchess of Cornwall’s ex-husband Andrew Parker-Bowles is pictured arriving looking distinguished with a cane on day three of the Royal Ascot Meeting

Sophie, Countess of Wessex is pictured striding into the paddock on the third day of Royal Ascot

Sophie, Countess of Wessex is pictured striding into the paddock on the third day of Royal Ascot

Brushing off the bad weather! Women put on showstopping displays in colourful outfits as they arrived for Ladies Day

A stunning skirt and top combination from Olivia Arben

Brushing off the bad weather! Women put on showstopping displays in colourful outfits as they arrived for Ladies Day. Pictured right: Olivia Arben

Striking a pose at the entrance to Royal Ascot

Valerie Stark strikes a pose on her arrival at Ascot

Braving the rain! These racegoers didn’t want to let an umbrella get in the way of a good outfit as they posed for photos. Pictured right: Valerie Stark

All out glamour: A group of women wearing chic summer ensembles stop for a photo on their way into Royal Ascot

All out glamour: A group of women wearing chic summer ensembles stop for a photo on their way into Royal Ascot

Candy-coloured creations! Charlotte Hawkins gives a twirl as she arrives

A woman stuns in pink

Candy-coloured creations! Charlotte Hawkins gives a twirl as she arrives (left). Right, a woman stuns in pink

Bright and beautiful! The Tootsie Rollers brought a splash of colour to a grey day in their vintage-inspired ensembles

Bright and beautiful! The Tootsie Rollers brought a splash of colour to a grey day in their vintage-inspired ensembles

Their crowning glory! Racegoers step out in towering hats and eye-catching ensembles for the third day at Royal Ascot. Pictured, hat designer Tracy Rose

Pink perfection! A vibrant look from head to toe

Their crowning glory! Racegoers step out in towering hats and eye-catching ensembles for the third day at Royal Ascot

Pink ladies! Two women show off their cotton candy-coloured dresses and matching accessories on their arrival at Ascot

The fashionable pair strike a pose

Pink ladies! Two women show off their cotton candy-coloured dresses and matching accessories on their arrival at Ascot

Printed perfection! Three women showcase an explosion of uplifting colour and patterns at Ladies Day

Printed perfection! Three women showcase an explosion of uplifting colour and patterns at Ladies Day

An explosion of colour: Every colour of the rainbow was on display as racegoers arrived at the Berkshire racecourse today. Pictured: Milliner Victoria Gran

Revellers arriving at Royal Ascot this morning. Pictured left: Gayle Rinkoff

An explosion of colour: Every colour of the rainbow was on display as racegoers arrived at the Berkshire racecourse today. Pictured left: Milliner Victoria Gran, and right in the floral gown, Gayle Rinkoff

Attention to detail: This pretty face covering was the perfect addition to a pastel coloured ensemble at the races

Attention to detail: This pretty face covering was the perfect addition to a pastel coloured ensemble at the races

Belles of the ball! Strictly pro Janette Manrara

She arrived with Emma Weymouth, Marchioness of Bath

Belles of the ball! Strictly pro Janette Manrara (left) arrived at Royal Ascot with Emma Weymouth, Marchioness of Bath 

More is more! This elaborate feather and butterfly creation helped one glamorous racegoer stand out from the crowd

More is more! This elaborate feather and butterfly creation helped one glamorous racegoer stand out from the crowd

The weather today is a far cry from the scorching sunshine enjoyed by the racegoers lucky enough to attend Ascot on Tuesday and Wednesday. 

The Royal Family have turned out in force this week, with Princess Anne, Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall, Sophie Wessex, Prince Edward and Zara and Mike Tindall all making an appearance. 

However the Queen has been notably absent this week, missing Royal Ascot for only the second time in 69 years

Her racing manager revealed on Tuesday that Her Majesty will be watching the action on TV at home but is hopeful of attending the festival – usually a highlight of her calendar – later this week.   

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. 

ITV presenters Mark Heyes and Charlotte Hawkin pose together in their finery during day three of Royal Ascot today

ITV presenters Mark Heyes and Charlotte Hawkin pose together in their finery during day three of Royal Ascot today

Susan Bender poses with a Royal Ascot umbrella

Weruche Opia and Moriayo Ogunsan enjoy the hospitality at the private VIP suite hosted by Longines in the Royal Enclosure

Susan Bender (left) poses with a Royal Ascot umbrella in a stylish tiered dress while Weruche Opia and Moriayo Ogunsan (right) enjoy the hospitality at the private VIP suite hosted by Longines in the Royal Enclosure

Alexandra Bertram dons a stylish monochrome striped dress with a decorative belt as she poses beside a floral display

Alexandra Bertram dons a stylish monochrome striped dress with a decorative belt as she poses beside a floral display 

Deborah Brett

Arabella Boyce

Deborah Brett (left) and Arabella Boyce (right) strike a pose in their fashionable ensembles during today’s cloudy Ladies Day

Stylish racegoers Emily Cronin, milliner Victoria Grant and Sasha Wilkins pose on a balcony during Royal Ascot 2021

Stylish racegoers Emily Cronin, milliner Victoria Grant and Sasha Wilkins pose on a balcony during Royal Ascot 2021

A racegoer dressed in a colourful floral ensemble poses with an umbrella beside the parade ring at Royal Ascot today

A racegoer dressed in a colourful floral ensemble poses with an umbrella beside the parade ring at Royal Ascot today

Top dog! Jimbo the Labrador sported an adorable top hat to match his owner's smart attire as he attended Royal Ascot today

Top dog! Jimbo the Labrador sported an adorable top hat to match his owner's smart attire as he attended Royal Ascot today

Top dog! Jimbo the Labrador sported an adorable top hat to match his owner’s smart attire as he attended Royal Ascot today

Ophelia Lovibond and Lettie Lovibond attend the private VIP suite hosted by Longines in the Royal Enclosure during Royal Ascot

Patrik Lundin and Julia Lundin attend the private VIP suite hosted by Longines

Ophelia Lovibond and Lettie Lovibond (left) and Patrick and Julia Lundin attend the private VIP suite hosted by Longines in the Royal Enclosure during Royal Ascot

Don't rain on my parade ring! A gang of female revellers defy the soggy weather as they gather for a masked selfie at Ladies Day

Don’t rain on my parade ring! A gang of female revellers defy the soggy weather as they gather for a masked selfie at Ladies Day

Andrea Riseborough teamed her chic floor-length black gown with a voluminous fascinator adorned with pretty pink flowers to attend the private VIP suite hosted by Longines on Ladies Day at Royal Ascot

Andrea Riseborough teamed her chic floor-length black gown with a voluminous fascinator adorned with pretty pink flowers to attend the private VIP suite hosted by Longines on Ladies Day at Royal Ascot

Andrea Riseborough teamed her chic floor-length black gown with a voluminous fascinator adorned with pretty pink flowers to attend the private VIP suite hosted by Longines on Ladies Day at Royal Ascot

True blue: This soft shade of blue perfectly compliments the mint green of this woman's outfit

True blue: This soft shade of blue perfectly compliments the mint green of this woman’s outfit

Kate Ozerov (left) and a friend arrive

Two women arrive at Royal Ascot

Twice as nice! Glamorous women arrive at Ladies’ Day, dressed to the nine in soft summer dresses  

Racegoers go all out with highly decorative hats for Ladies Day today - with this fashionista opting for shades of IKEA

Racegoers go all out with highly decorative hats for Ladies Day today – with this fashionista opting for shades of IKEA

Still plenty to smile about! Racegoers put on their finest dresses for Ladies Day at Royal Ascot

An elegant racegoer rocks green and white

Still plenty to smile about! Racegoers put on their finest dresses for Ladies Day at Royal Ascot

Making an entrance: One woman dressed in a striking scarlet ensemble didn't let the rain ruin her morning

Making an entrance: One woman dressed in a striking scarlet ensemble didn’t let the rain ruin her morning

A couple of racegoers make a beeline for the lilac bench in the grounds of the racecourse on Ladies Day - and enjoy a glass of fizz

A couple of racegoers make a beeline for the lilac bench in the grounds of the racecourse on Ladies Day – and enjoy a glass of fizz

Pretty in pink! Once again one of the day's most popular colours, racegoers arrived in pastels and vibrant hues

A racegoer arrives at Royal Ascot

Pretty in pink! Once again one of the day’s most popular colours, racegoers arrived in pastels and vibrant hues

Little touches: A woman chose a sweet jockey-themed face mask as she arrived for Ladies Day at Royal Ascot this morning

Little touches: A woman chose a sweet jockey-themed face mask as she arrived for Ladies Day at Royal Ascot this morning

Stylish revellers still pulled out all the fashion stops for Ladies Day - despite the wet weather

Smiling in the rain

Stylish revellers still pulled out all the fashion stops for Ladies Day – despite the wet weather

Red alert! One woman turned heads in her eye-catching creation (pictured) which matched her scarlet dress

Red alert! One woman turned heads in her eye-catching creation (pictured) which matched her scarlet dress

Strike a pose! Three women stop for photographers on their way into Royal Ascot this morning

Strike a pose! Three women stop for photographers on their way into Royal Ascot this morning 

Former jockey Willie Carson looked well and truly in the spirit as he jumped for joy for photographers on arrival at Royal Ascot

Former jockey Willie Carson looked well and truly in the spirit as he jumped for joy for photographers on arrival at Royal Ascot

Former jockey Willie Carson looked well and truly in the spirit as he jumped for joy for photographers on arrival at Royal Ascot

Out of this world! One racegoer opted for a rocked-themed hat while her companion sported a large floral fascinator which coordinated with her belt

Out of this world! One racegoer opted for a rocked-themed hat while her companion sported a large floral fascinator which coordinated with her belt

Making a statement! These two racegoers opted for a bigger is better approach when it came to their headwear, with elaborate hats you wouldn't want to be sat behind

Making a statement! These two racegoers opted for a bigger is better approach when it came to their headwear, with elaborate hats you wouldn’t want to be sat behind

‘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.’ 

Five times the fun! The Tootsie Rollers arrive in their signature vintage-inspired looks for Ladies Day at Royal Ascot

Five times the fun! The Tootsie Rollers arrive in their signature vintage-inspired looks for Ladies Day at Royal Ascot

A chic all black ensemble was finished with an elegant wrap

One man battles a blustery gust of wind

A chic all black ensemble was finished with an elegant wrap (left). Right, one man battles a blustery gust of wind

Girls' day out! Two women wearing shades of pink and red flash wide smiles as they arrive for Ladies Day at Royal Ascot

Girls’ day out! Two women wearing shades of pink and red flash wide smiles as they arrive for Ladies Day at Royal Ascot

Women clutch umbrellas as they wait outside the racecourse ahead of the third day of the racing festival

Women clutch umbrellas as they wait outside the racecourse ahead of the third day of the racing festival

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