Queen looks unimpressed as she grapples with her umbrella at Ascot7 min read

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The Queen looked less than impressed as the heavens opened at Royal Ascot today – but high spirited revellers didn’t let the wet weather dampen their fun. 

The monarch, 93, arrived for the second day of festivities in an open-top carriage alongside Prince Charles, 70, and the Duchess of Cornwall, 71, but was later forced to whip out an umbrella to stay dry. 

Elsewhere well-heeled racegoers faced their own battle with the hair-frizzing drizzle, with many donning disposable rain ponchos and seeking shelter anywhere they could. 

But even the potential for fashion disaster couldn’t dull the shine of the day’s events – and the determined revellers still kicked up their heels and got into the fun. 

Royal blue! The monarch, 93, arrived for the second day of festivities in an open-top carriage alongside Prince Charles, 70, and the Duchess of Cornwall, 71, pictured together - but was forced to whip out an umbrella when the heavens opened

Royal blue! The monarch, 93, arrived for the second day of festivities in an open-top carriage alongside Prince Charles, 70, and the Duchess of Cornwall, 71, pictured together – but was forced to whip out an umbrella when the heavens opened

One's not amused! The Queen looked a little put out as it started to rain shortly after her arrival at Royal Ascot today

The Queen took out an umbrella to stay dry

One’s not amused! The Queen looked a little put out as it started to rain shortly after her arrival at Royal Ascot today

Emergency outfit change! Disposable rain ponchos were required as revellers battled to stay dry in the wet weather

Emergency outfit change! Disposable rain ponchos were required as revellers battled to stay dry in the wet weather

Still smiling! Designer Isabell Kristensen

Francesca Cumani looked fresh despite the drizzly weather

Still smiling! Designer Isabell Kristensen, left, and Francesca Cumani, right, looked fresh despite the drizzly weather

Bright spot! The Queen's sky blue coat and Camilla's mint ensemble brightened up an otherwise dull day at Royal Ascot

Bright spot! The Queen’s sky blue coat and Camilla’s mint ensemble brightened up an otherwise dull day at Royal Ascot

Caught out! The royals weren't the only ones hit by the wet weather

Racegoers rushed for shelter

Caught out! The royals (Camilla, left) weren’t the only ones hit by the wet weather and racegoers rushed for shelter, right

The ultimate accessory! The stands were awash with umbrellas when it started to rain on the second day of Royal Ascot

The ultimate accessory! The stands were awash with umbrellas when it started to rain on the second day of Royal Ascot

Rainy day drinks! A group of women grabbed some umbrellas and headed out to brave the rain at Royal Ascot

Rainy day drinks! A group of women grabbed some umbrellas and headed out to brave the rain at Royal Ascot

Stars including Charlotte Hawkins, Debbie McGee and Helen Flanagan were among the first to arrive, with all three looking elegant in white ensembles. 

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And as the party got into full swing, women in their best frocks were seen looking merry as they kicked up their heels and danced along the lawns.

The five-day festival, the jewel in the crown of the UK racing calendar, kicked off yesterday with stunning displays from well-heeled revellers – and an impressive royal guest list.  

Umbrellas at the ready! The Queen

The Duchess of Cornwall

Umbrellas at the ready! The Queen, left, and the Duchess of Cornwall, right, arriving at Royal Ascot in the open carriage today

Royal outing: The Queen and Camilla were joined by Prince Charles (left from behind) and Viscount Brookeborough (right)

Royal outing: The Queen and Camilla were joined by Prince Charles (left from behind) and Viscount Brookeborough (right)

The Queen, 93, a lifelong racing enthusiast, was joined by several members of the Royal Family including Prince William, the Duchess of Cambridge, Zara Phillips and Princess Eugenie as she officially opened the event with the traditional carriage procession.

Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall, and King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands also attended. 

Royal Ascot is a much a social occasion as a sporting event and racegoers take the opportunity to turn on the style, from chic hats and summer dresses to sharp suits.  

Visitors to the high-profile racing event this year also have a wider choice of garb, as organisers say they are free to choose a gender dress code they ‘feel most comfortable’ with. 

Under the changes, women will be allowed to dress like men and vice versa – as long as they stick to the rules.

This year’s Royal Enclosure dress code says ‘Gentleman’ must wear black or grey morning dress with a waist coat and tie. 

Ascot day two! As the party got into full swing, women in their best frocks were seen kicked up their heels along the lawn

Ascot day two! As the party got into full swing, women in their best frocks were seen kicked up their heels along the lawn

In their LBDs! Women grinned with delight as they got into the party spirit

Ladies wearing brightly patterned dresses threw up the peae sign as they arrived

Here come the girls! Two women embrace at Ascot, right, one woman strikes a playful pose on her way inside

Splash of sunshine! Racegoers in different shades of yellow brighten up a cloudy second day at Royal Ascot this morning

Splash of sunshine! Racegoers in different shades of yellow brighten up a cloudy second day at Royal Ascot this morning

Sabrina Percy

Model Natalia Kapchuk makes a political statement

Society beauty: Sabrina Percy, left, was the picture of elegance. Right, model Natalia Kapchuk makes a political statement

Summer shower: One woman draped a disposable poncho over her head as the heavens opened at Royal Ascot

Summer shower: One woman draped a disposable poncho over her head as the heavens opened at Royal Ascot

Strike a pose! Two friends smile as they go in for a hug

Others give the peace sign to the camera

Strike a pose! Two friends smile as they go in for a hug, left, while others give the peace sign to the camera, right

Putting her best foot forward: Elegant stud heels were on display as a group of well dressed friends made an entrance

Putting her best foot forward: Elegant stud heels were on display as a group of well dressed friends made an entrance 

Delicate: Presenter Francesca Cumani

Another racegoer went for a playful bird creation

Delicate: Presenter Francesca Cumani in a pretty blossom hat. Right, another racegoer went for a playful bird creation

Star power: Love Island alum CHris Hughes posed with fans

Victoria Pendleton looked elegant in a patterned gown

Star power: Love Island alum CHris Hughes posed with fans (left) while Victoria Pendleton looked elegant in a patterned gown

Candy-coloured dream! Band The Tootsie Rollers donned summer dresses and hats by London milliner Nerida Fraiman

Candy-coloured dream! Band The Tootsie Rollers donned summer dresses and hats by London milliner Nerida Fraiman

‘Ladies’ are not allowed to wear strapless and off-the-shoulder dresses, while mid-riffs have to be covered and fascinators are also banned. 

In previous years, it has insisted attendees cover their midriffs and avoid wearing fascinators and that still stands.

While in previous years there has been no official style guide for the Windsor Enclosure, except to dress for a formal occasion, now female attendees are requested to wear fascinators, like those in the rest of the enclosures.

Royal Ascot has put in place strict dress codes since the early 19th century .

The race gathering’s famously strict clothing rules hark back to sartorial trailblazer Beau Brummell, who dictated the dress for men in the Royal Enclosure at the turn of the 19th century and was fond of cleaning his shoes with champagne.

Group photo! Royal Ascot is the perfect time to snap pictures - and this group of revellers made sure they didn't miss out

Group photo! Royal Ascot is the perfect time to snap pictures – and this group of revellers made sure they didn’t miss out

Dream teams: Handsome couples made some serious fashion statements as they arrived at Ascot Racecourse this morning

A woman stood out in her beautiful tangerine coloured dress

Dream teams: Handsome couples made some serious fashion statements as they arrived at Ascot Racecourse this morning

Dynamic duos! A guest in a kilt causes a stir

Women pose in flowing floral maxi dresses

Dynamic duos! A guest in a kilt causes a stir, left, as he arrives at Ascot. Right, women pose in flowing floral maxi dresses

In bloom! A radiant racegoer poses next to the Royal Ascot photo wall on her way into the second day of the event today

In bloom! A radiant racegoer poses next to the Royal Ascot photo wall on her way into the second day of the event today

Statement dresses: Red

Animal print was on show

Statement dresses: Red, left, and animal print, right, were both on show as racegoers brought their fashion A-game to Ascot

Inspired by nature! Rachel Oates, from Hampshire

Mrs Shane Horn, from Ascot,

Inspired by nature! Rachel Oates, from Hampshire, left, and Mrs Shane Horn, from Ascot, arriving at Royal Ascot today

Cheers! It's time for Champagne for these racegoers in The Orangerie Bar by Moet Chandon Grand Vintage at the racecourse

Cheers! It’s time for Champagne for these racegoers in The Orangerie Bar by Moet Chandon Grand Vintage at the racecourse

Tartan twosome! Milliner William Chambers and a guest

Mathias Le Fevre

Tartan twosome! Milliner William Chambers, right in left image, and a guest. Pictured right, Mathias Le Fevre

Bold and beautiful: Two racegoers pose for the camera as they arrive for the second day of races at Royal Ascot this morning

Bold and beautiful: Two racegoers pose for the camera as they arrive for the second day of races at Royal Ascot this morning

Two years ago, the event broke with convention by allowing racegoers to wear jumpsuits in the Royal Enclosure for the first time.

Organisers also announced they would try to draw in a new breed of visitors by putting on a ‘party atmosphere’ and a ‘more vibrant feel’. 

Meanwhile, no changes have been made to rules for ‘Gentlemen’.

Juliet Slot, commercial director of Ascot, said: ‘Fashion and style are an important part of the Royal Ascot experience for all of our customers.’

Mellow yellow! Demonstrating just how versatile one colour can be, a group of women make their Royal Ascot entrance

Mellow yellow! Demonstrating just how versatile one colour can be, a group of women make their Royal Ascot entrance

Matchy matchy! Men and women dressed in identical outfits make their way inside Ascot Racecourse to join in the fun

Matchy matchy! Men and women dressed in identical outfits make their way inside Ascot Racecourse to join in the fun

Say cheese! A group stop for a photo on their way into Royal Ascot this morning - where the second day is underway

Say cheese! A group stop for a photo on their way into Royal Ascot this morning – where the second day is underway

Fabulous fabrics: Velvet, suede, satin and silk are expertly juxtaposed in these two stylish Royal Ascot ensembles

Fabulous fabrics: Velvet, suede, satin and silk are expertly juxtaposed in these two stylish Royal Ascot ensembles

Dapper: Top hats and tails are required for gentlemen in certain enclosures - and these two chaps didn't disappoint

Dapper: Top hats and tails are required for gentlemen in certain enclosures – and these two chaps didn’t disappoint