Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Royal Ascot 2017: day one

Every duke and earl and peer is here, everyone who should be here is here....and they were. Royal Ascot lived up to its name with as regal a show in the carriage procession as we've seen in a long time. The Queen, of course, led the way but with most of her children, grandchildren and in laws around her, it was hard not to spot a royal on day one of this famous meeting. Here's how Royal Ascot got under way in 2017.

The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh, of course, led the procession. There's always huge excitement ahead of day one around guessing which colour the Queen will be wearing and after an understandably muted appearance at Trooping the Colour 2017, it was (almost) back to the famous flourescent look from her official birthday last year. The Queen chose green and looked rather fabulous while she was at it.

Ascot is all about hats and you can always count on Camilla to produce a corker. The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall travelled in the second carriage of the procession with Camilla providing epic amounts of shade for everyone else alongside her with a brim that could well have taken off on its own had the breeze picked up. The thing is, this duchess does statement hats rather well and this is another tick in the Ascot (royal) box for Camilla.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived in the third carriage in the first procession of day one of the four day meet, just twenty four hours before the second in line to the throne turned thirty five. If you're still upright after all those numbers then you'll want to know that the white lace dress was a fashion hit while the flower trimmed hat got a thumbs up as well. 

Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie of York were in carriage two (dad, the Duke of York, was with his own parents at the top of the procession) and they gave us a monochrome mix as they enjoyed day one of Ascot. While Eugenie's black and fuchsia hat was the most eye catching York sister moment in the carriage parade, a walk in the paddock proved Bea was the fashion winner on this one. Her white dress with palest pink and blue applique is about as pretty as they come and the (rather small for her) fascinator style hat makes perfect sense when you see the overall shape of the dress. Eugenie's look was rather more predictable - we've seen this kind of summer frock on her plenty of times before - but the hat is up there with contenders for topper of the meeting.

Except Sophie Wessex is on the prowl and no one has outdone this countess style wise at Ascot for years now. After she'd got over the moment when half the world saw her almost topple out of her carriage (Kate caught her, it was a photographer's dream come true), the Countess of Wessex showed 2017 is shaping up to be another style success for her at Ascot with a simple green dress that just wowed. No one was expecting a straw hat from Sophie but there was nothing shy or demure about this take on a summer style staple. It's big, it's basketweave, it's got a bow. Sophie is already cantering to an early Ascot style lead.

The Princess Royal recycled because Anne has never knowingly worn a new outfit since about 1986. And when you still look as good as she does, why would you? The Princess Royal went retro in palest orange with a pleated top and almost A-line skirt. Let's face it, if this was hanging up in a vintage shop in London someone would pay a small fortune for it and wear it into the ground. Anne is a fashion wonder all of her own.


Peter and Autumn Phillips took up a pole position in carriage four of the royal procession and were all smiles once the traditional parade had ended. Autumn Phillips went for a blue and white dress that ended up being compared to a red and white creation with bright white fascinator style hat and looked rather glam into the bargain.

She also looked rather colour co-ordinated with her sister-in-law, Zara Tindall, who seemed to spend most of the afternoon kissing various friends and relations. Zara chose cobalt blue with husband, Mike Tindall, doing the decent thing and matching his tie to her frock.


Prince and Princess Michael of Kent are regulars at Royal Ascot and while Marie-Christine looked her usual, elegant self we know she'll be back later in the week with something even more eye catching than her day one pick. It's not that her pale grey and white polka dot two piece and knock me down with all those feathers hat aren't fabulous. It's just we saw them on Saturday at the Trooping the Colour celebrations. There's royal recycling and there's royal recycling. This princess has something more up her couture sleeve - bring on day two.

Photo credit: Royal Ascot Instagram

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