Royal Ascot: Sophie Wessex leads Royal Family arrivals


Sophie Wessex stood out from the crowd in a fabulous feathered hat as she led the royal arrivals on the second day of Royal Ascot. 

The Countess of Wessex, 56, joined husband Prince Edward, 57, Princess Anne, 70, and Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall for a second day of fun at the Berkshire racing festival. 

Sophie cut an elegant figure in an A-line midi skirt printed with large purple flowers, which she paired with a simple white blouse, pink pumps and a purple snakeskin-effect clutch bag. The outing came hours after she spoke about the ‘giant-sized hole’ left by Prince Philip’s death in a new BBC interview.   

Meanwhile the Duchess of Cornwall opted for a classic cream ensemble, finished with a wide-brimmed hat. Princess Anne brought a splash of colour to proceedings in an emerald green dress, which she accessorised with an off-white hat, heeled pumps and a pair of gloves. 

The royals are joined by Princess Margaret’s son, David Armstrong-Jones, and the Duchess of Cornwall’s ex-husband, Andrew Parker-Bowles. 

The Queen is notably absent from the line-up, having also missed out on the first day of the race meet yesterday. Her racing manager explained Her Majesty is hoping to make an appearance at Ascot later this week.

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. 

Leading the royal arrivals! Prince Edward and Sophie Wessex smile as they arrive for the second day of Royal Ascot 

Glamorous in green! Princess Anne cut an elegant figure in a green dress, which she wore with off-white accessories

Princess Anne arriving at Royal Ascot

Glamorous in green! Princess Anne cut an elegant figure in a green dress, which she wore with off-white accessories

The Duchess of Cornwall at Ascot today

Prince Charles at Ascot

The elegant Duchess of Cornwall looked radiant in cream while Charles appeared to recycle his grey suit from yesterday

Camilla Parker Bowles and the Prince of Wales take up their familiar spot in the Royal Box to watch the day's racing at Ascot

Camilla Parker Bowles and the Prince of Wales take up their familiar spot in the Royal Box to watch the day’s racing at Ascot

Beaming: Prince Charles smiled as he arrived with the Duchess of Cornwall for a second day at Royal Ascot

Beaming: Prince Charles smiled as he arrived with the Duchess of Cornwall for a second day at Royal Ascot

Camilla in cream: The Duchess of Cornwall opted for one of her favourite colours as she joined the royals on a day out

Camilla in cream: The Duchess of Cornwall opted for one of her favourite colours as she joined the royals on a day out

Floral fancy! Sophie Wessex looked ready for spring in her A-line skirt, which she paired with a fabulous lilac hat

Floral fancy! Sophie Wessex looked ready for spring in her A-line skirt, which she paired with a fabulous lilac hat 

Playful touch: The Countess of Wessex beamed as she arrived at Royal Ascot with her husband Prince Edward

Sophie Wessex and Prince Edward arriving today

Playful touch: The Countess of Wessex beamed as she arrived at Royal Ascot with her husband Prince Edward

Breath of fresh air! Sophie Wessex brought a splash of springtime chic to the racing festival today

Breath of fresh air! Sophie Wessex brought a splash of springtime chic to the racing festival today

Royal party: The Duchess of Cornwall's ex-husband Andrew Parker-Bowles

David Armstrong-Jones arriving today

Royal party: The Duchess of Cornwall’s ex-husband Andrew Parker-Bowles (left) and David Armstrong-Jones arriving today

Glamorous women put on showstopping displays in bright summer frocks while men looked dapper in top hats and tails as they arrived at the Berkshire racecourse for a day of fun in the sun. 

As ever, extravagant millinery stole the show and women turned heads in their colourful creations adorned with feathers, jewels and delicate lace.   

On Monday Boris Johnson announced a four-week delay to ‘Freedom Day’ – and to the ending of all social distancing measures – but any disappointment looked far from the minds of racegoers as they kicked off the festivities this morning. 

Princess Anne, Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall, Sophie Wessex, Prince Edward and Zara and Mike Tindall all turned out for the start of Royal Ascot yesterday.  

On Monday Boris Johnson announced a four-week delay to 'Freedom Day' - and to the ending of all social distancing measures - but any disappointment looked far from the minds of racegoers (pictured: a view of the parade before the first race)

On Monday Boris Johnson announced a four-week delay to ‘Freedom Day’ – and to the ending of all social distancing measures – but any disappointment looked far from the minds of racegoers (pictured: a view of the parade before the first race)

Sophie, Countess of Wessex attends Royal Ascot today looking pretty in pink, opting for natural make-up and understated accessories

Sophie, Countess of Wessex attends Royal Ascot today looking pretty in pink, opting for natural make-up and understated accessories

The Princess Royal looked elegant in emerald green today as she arrived for the day's racing, teaming the look with cream court heels and a matching bag

The Princess Royal looked elegant in emerald green today as she arrived for the day's racing, teaming the look with cream court heels and a matching bag

The Princess Royal looked elegant in emerald green today as she arrived for the day’s racing, teaming the look with cream court heels and a matching bag

Princess Anne pictured leaving the parade ring in her Injured Jockey Fund face mask, which she was spotted wearing yesterday, beside Andrew Parker Bowles

Princess Anne pictured leaving the parade ring in her Injured Jockey Fund face mask, which she was spotted wearing yesterday, beside Andrew Parker Bowles

Princess Anne proudly wore her Jockey Club pin to show her allegiance to the club, beneath an elegant leaf-inspired brooch and her snazzy shades

Princess Anne proudly wore her Jockey Club pin to show her allegiance to the club, beneath an elegant leaf-inspired brooch and her snazzy shades

Lady Carolyn Warren arrives at Royal Ascot wearing a chic pink floral dress with a cream cropped jacket, carrying a Saint Laurent bag

Lady Carolyn Warren arrives at Royal Ascot wearing a chic pink floral dress with a cream cropped jacket, carrying a Saint Laurent bag

Lady Carolyn Warren, daughter of the 7th Earl of Carnarvon, the Queen’s former racing adviser, whose husband John Warren is Her Majesty’s current one, arrives at Royal Ascot wearing a chic pink floral dress with a cream cropped jacket, carrying a Saint Laurent bag

And they’re off! A group of women admire the pristine grounds as they arrive for the second day for Royal Ascot

Matching magic! The Tootsie Rollers arrive in co-ordinating dresses for the second day of the five-day race meet

Matching magic! The Tootsie Rollers arrive in co-ordinating dresses for the second day of the five-day race meet 

Famous faces: Charlotte Hawkins arriving at Royal Ascot

Francesca Cumani wearing a hat by Rachel Trevor Morgan

Famous faces: Charlotte Hawkins arriving at Royal Ascot. Right, Francesca Cumani wearing a hat by Rachel Trevor Morgan

Ready for her close up: An elegantly dressed woman in navy and neutrals smiles for photographers at Royal Ascot

Ready for her close up: An elegantly dressed woman in navy and neutrals smiles for photographers at Royal Ascot

Careful co-ordination: Revellers strike a pose in elegant blue-tone ensembles

Another reveller goes for gold

Careful co-ordination: Revellers strike a pose in elegant blue-tone ensembles (left) and another goes for gold (right)

Pastel perfection! A group of glamorous racegoers arrive for the second day of Royal Ascot in colourful summer frocks

Pastel perfection! A group of glamorous racegoers arrive for the second day of Royal Ascot in colourful summer frocks

A rainbow hat brings a splash of colour

Candy-coloured creations: Soft shades of pink proved popular

Candy-coloured creations: Soft shades of pink (right) and rainbow accessories (left) proved popular with racegoers

Taking in the views: Women wearing shades of mint and blue look out over the grounds at Royal Ascot

Taking in the views: Women wearing shades of mint and blue look out over the grounds at Royal Ascot

The must-have accessory: A face mask printed with a jockey's silk brought a playful touch to one ensemble

An all red outfit

The must-have accessory: A face mask printed with a jockey’s silk (left) brought a playful touch to one ensemble

Royal mask-ot: This embroidered face mask added a playful touch to one woman's Royal Ascot ensemble

Royal mask-ot: This embroidered face mask added a playful touch to one woman’s Royal Ascot ensemble

Red alert! Women in co-ordinating colour block outfits pose for a photo

Putting on her heels for a day at the races

Red alert! Women in co-ordinating colour block outfits pose for a photo. Right, putting on her heels for a day at the races

Khadijah Mellah, 20, from Peckham - the first hijab-wearing jockey in a competitive British horse race - poses during Royal Ascot 2021

Khadijah Mellah, 20, from Peckham – the first hijab-wearing jockey in a competitive British horse race – poses during Royal Ascot 2021

A glamorous pair of racegoers decked out in floral frocks enjoy a chilled glass of rose on a bench as they watch the day's events

A glamorous pair of racegoers decked out in floral frocks enjoy a chilled glass of rose on a bench as they watch the day’s events

Kicking off the festivities! Racegoers enjoy Pimm's and bubbles in the sunshine on the second day of Royal Ascot

Kicking off the festivities! Racegoers enjoy Pimm’s and bubbles in the sunshine on the second day of Royal Ascot

Getting some tips? A man smartly dressed in a suit and tie flicks through a newspaper as they action kicks off at Ascot

Getting some tips? A man smartly dressed in a suit and tie flicks through a newspaper as they action kicks off at Ascot 

Four members of the British military look smart in their uniforms as they pose for a photograph on the second day of the Royal Ascot horserace meeting

Four members of the British military look smart in their uniforms as they pose for a photograph on the second day of the Royal Ascot horserace meeting

One notable exception to the royal line-up was the Queen, 95, but Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall were spotted taking a keen interest in the races as her horse King’s Lynn took part in the King’s Stand Stakes -finishing in seventh place. 

Camilla looked animated as she clutched her racing programme in the royal box, while discussing the action with her husband.  

They were joined by Mike and Zara Tindall making their first public appearance since the birth of their son Lucas in March, Princess Anne, Prince Edward and Sophie Wessex at the Berkshire racecourse for the annual family event.   

The Queen missed Royal Ascot for only the second time in 69 years. Her Majesty’s racing manager confirmed the monarch would not be attending yesterday but is hoping to make it later in the week depending on ‘how things go’. 

Enthusiastic racegoers celebrate as they triumphantly watch their horse come in during the second day of Royal Ascot

Enthusiastic racegoers celebrate as they triumphantly watch their horse come in during the second day of Royal Ascot

A pop of colour! One Ascot reveller opts for a vibrant poppy-themed hat for the occasion as she posed before the races

A pop of colour! One Ascot reveller opts for a vibrant poppy-themed hat for the occasion as she posed before the races 

Kiss me quick! One racegoer opted for an elaborate lips themed hat which appeared somewhat tricky to manage

This colourful pair looked thrilled to be at the prestigious event

Kiss me quick! One racegoer opted for an elaborate lips themed hat which appeared somewhat tricky to manage (left) while another colourful pair looked thrilled to be at the prestigious event (right)

Taking it all in: a group of Ascot racegoers bask in the warm summer sunshine as they enjoy the action on day two

Taking it all in: a group of Ascot racegoers bask in the warm summer sunshine as they enjoy the action on day two

Getting the shot: One woman holds onto her hat as she crouches down to capture her friend looking her best

Getting the shot: One woman holds onto her hat as she crouches down to capture her friend looking her best

Dynamic duos! Women were ready for a day out with their friends as they arrived at Royal Ascot for the racing festival

Two friends beam on their way in

Dynamic duos! Women were ready for a day out with their friends as they arrived at Royal Ascot for the racing festival

Plenty of personality: This racegoer looked resplendent in a blue headpiece complete with a veil and large feathers

Plenty of personality: This racegoer looked resplendent in a blue headpiece complete with a veil and large feathers 

Hats off to them! A feathered creation

A wide-brimmed floral sunhat on display at Royal Ascot

Hats off to them! A feathered creation and wide-brimmed floral sunhat were just two of the stunning headpieces on display

Getting into the spirit! A trumpeter performs at the start of the second day of Royal Ascot this morning

Getting into the spirit! A trumpeter performs at the start of the second day of Royal Ascot this morning

They got the memo! Racegoers wearing shades of purple, blue and mint pose for a photo at the start of Royal Ascot

They got the memo! Racegoers wearing shades of purple, blue and mint pose for a photo at the start of Royal Ascot

Fun and fabulous! A polka dot dress

An elegant pink ensemble at Ascot

Fun and fabulous! A polka dot dress (left) and an elegant pink ensemble were just two of the stunning looks at Ascot

Day out! Military personnel enjoy the weather under an umbrella at Royal Ascot, in Berkshire, today

Day out! Military personnel enjoy the weather under an umbrella at Royal Ascot, in Berkshire, today

The fizz is flowing! A group of friends toast the afternoon with a bottle (or two) of Moet Champagne - and fish and chips

The fizz is flowing! A group of friends toast the afternoon with a bottle (or two) of Moet Champagne – and fish and chips

Racegoers enjoy the festivities from socially distanced benches dotted around the racecourse to comply with Covid-19 restrictions

Racegoers enjoy the festivities from socially distanced benches dotted around the racecourse to comply with Covid-19 restrictions

Finishing touch: Whether they were in understated shades of neutral or vibrant colours, hats turned heads at Ascot

A colourful ensemble

Finishing touch: Whether they were in understated shades of neutral or vibrant colours, hats turned heads at Ascot

Francesca Cumani, in her Trevor Morgan hat, strolls around the race course on the second day of Royal Ascot

Francesca Cumani, in her Trevor Morgan hat, strolls around the race course on the second day of Royal Ascot

So far the annual Berkshire event has been blessed with glorious sunshine - pictured, a view of the parade before the first race

So far the annual Berkshire event has been blessed with glorious sunshine – pictured, a view of the parade before the first race

A stylishly dressed couple look enamoured by the racing as it gets underway at Royal Ascot this afternoon

A stylishly dressed couple look enamoured by the racing as it gets underway at Royal Ascot this afternoon

A fashionable pair of racegoers clutch glasses of fizz while a generous gentleman gets the drinks in as the racing gets underway at Ascot

A fashionable pair of racegoers clutch glasses of fizz while a generous gentleman gets the drinks in as the racing gets underway at Ascot

A fashionable pair of racegoers clutch glasses of fizz (left) while a generous gentleman gets the drinks in (right) as the racing gets underway at Ascot

A socially distanced crowd keenly watch the first race of the day - The Queen Mary Stakes - get underway

A socially distanced crowd keenly watch the first race of the day – The Queen Mary Stakes – get underway

The Queen’s 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. 

‘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.’ 

Sope Dirisu enjoys the private VIP suite hosted by Longines in the Royal Enclosure during Royal Ascot today

Damson Idris enjoys the private VIP suite hosted by Longines in the Royal Enclosure during Royal Ascot today

Sope Dirisu (left) and Damson Idris (right) enjoy the private VIP suite hosted by Longines in the Royal Enclosure during Royal Ascot today

Lucky racegoers manage to secure a spot at the side of the track to watch the day's races at Royal Ascot today

Lucky racegoers manage to secure a spot at the side of the track to watch the day’s races at Royal Ascot today

The bookmakers do their best to create some shade with umbrellas under the scorching summer sun on day two of Ascot

The bookmakers do their best to create some shade with umbrellas under the scorching summer sun on day two of Ascot

A racegoer relaxes on a bench, glass of fizz in hand, as she takes in the atmosphere - wearing a striking feathered hat

A racegoer relaxes on a bench, glass of fizz in hand, as she takes in the atmosphere – wearing a striking feathered hat

Lady in red! A female reveller sported an eye-catching top hat adorned with flowers and netting to match her scarlet and white polka dot frock

Another teams her red headpiece with a purple outfit

Ladies in red! A female reveller sported an eye-catching top hat adorned with flowers and netting to match her scarlet and white polka dot frock (left) while another teams her headpiece with a purple outfit and matching lippy

Dapper: Nicola Zaino arrived with a guest dressed in a soft pink long-sleeved dress for a day of fun in the sun at Ascot

Dapper: Nicola Zaino arrived with a guest dressed in a soft pink long-sleeved dress for a day of fun in the sun at Ascot

Feathered fancy! Nazar Bullen, from London,  is a vision in a pink feathered headpiece and dress at Royal Ascot

Feathered fancy! Nazar Bullen, from London,  is a vision in a pink feathered headpiece and dress at Royal Ascot

Here come the girls! The Tootsie Rollers arrive arm-in-arm at Royal Ascot for the second day of the racing festival

Here come the girls! The Tootsie Rollers arrive arm-in-arm at Royal Ascot for the second day of the racing festival

More is more! Nazer Bullen turned heads when she arrived in this extravagant feathered confection

Pretty in pastel pink

More is more! Nazer Bullen turned heads when she arrived in this extravagant feathered confection 

Strike a pose! The Tootsie Rollers got into formation as they posed for a photograph at the start of a day of fun at Royal Ascot

Strike a pose! The Tootsie Rollers got into formation as they posed for a photograph at the start of a day of fun at Royal Ascot

Think pink! Social media star Nino Tsomaya opted for an elegant rose-coloured dress for Royal Ascot

Nino poses with a dapper gentleman

Think pink! Social media star Nino Tsomaya opted for an elegant rose-coloured dress for Royal Ascot

Splash of colour! The Tootsie Rollers added rainbow-coloured hats and headpieces to top off their monochrome looks

Splash of colour! The Tootsie Rollers added rainbow-coloured hats and headpieces to top off their monochrome looks

Ready for the day: Revellers scan their tickets on their way into the event, which is part of a Covid trial scheme

Ready for the day: Revellers scan their tickets on their way into the event, which is part of a Covid trial scheme

However he said the experience would be different for the monarch, adding: ‘In the past, she would have gone and looked at horses in the paddock, even though they weren’t hers because she is so fascinated in the breed so she’d want go and look at the stallion prospects of the future.’ 

John continued: Every race that takes place every day of the week, the Queen will certainly read the Racing Post every morning, look at the breeding of all the winners the day before, and see that these stallions that she uses will be potential horses for her own mares.

‘It’s a deep fascination, a very broad escapism for all the other things that the Queen has to deal with in her life.’  

The Queen has a number of runners at the Berkshire racecourse, with Mr Warren tipping Tactical in the Jersey Stakes on Saturday as a potential winner. 

Last year – when Ascot was held behind closed doors – was the first time the Queen had missed it in her entire reign. 



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