21 June 2013

Royal Fashion Awards: Royal Ascot 2013

That five day festival of hats and horses and everything in between is well under way at Ascot. Let's check in with the fashion winners and losers so far, shall we?

Best in Day 1
The Countess of Wessex
Left to Right: the Queen (followed by the Duchess of Cornwall), the Countess of Wessex, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, Princess Haya
I had my qualms about the shape of Sophie's dress, but in the end it can't be denied: she is positively owning that color. I also loved Haya's garden festival and Serena Linley's flood of pink (she, plus more stylish royals including a well turned out Princess Anne, can be seen here). And, just for kicks, I'm gonna own up and say that I was also digging Eugenie's striped affair. I think the horizontal stripes emphasize her skirt and not what's underneath and are totally cute. Yes, I dug the stripes. (Not you, Bea.)

Best in Day 2
The Queen and the Duchess of Cornwall
Camilla's had quite the elegant streak recently, no? She matched her emerald brooch to the Queen's (which was new to me, all deets at the Jewel Vault!) and pulled off a lovely understated look which needs some love...except that this is Ascot and understated - even in a big hat - just isn't enough! I point you to "the coolest", apparently, Lady Helen Taylor and her explosion of color. I may wish she'd done a Coco (Chanel: take one thing off before you leave the house...or in this case, maybe two or three things), but I'm in love with the fun and unexpected color combo. Click here for more royal ladies and here for Lady Helen's competition for memorable Day 2 looks, Princess Haya and her portable chess set. 

Best in Day 3
The Queen
L to R: the Queen, Autumn Phillips, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, the Princess Royal
I was ready to flip a coin between Autumn, who was simple but stunning, and Beatrice, who was awfully well recovered from that lace and polka dot raincoat thing earlier. And then the purple Queen stole the race, as did her horse Estimate, who won the Gold Cup. Actual royal jumpy claps! The Duke of York presented her with her cup (she was supposed to present it herself but was unavailable due to awesomeness), and I expect to see that bolted to the hood of the royal Bentley promptly. One's precioussssss. This has set a new level for Windsor cuteness. Your move, Baby Cambridge. (Click here for a full recounting of the jubilant Queen, and here for more pics and stuff from Ladies' Day.)

Best in Top Hats
The Prince of Wales and Prince Michael of Kent
L to R: the Earl of Wessex, the Duke of York and Prince Michael of Kent, the Prince of Wales, Sheikh Mohammed of Dubai (husband of Princess Haya), Peter Phillips
The Windsor Grays! Ha. Nothing says off to the races! quite like the pale color palette, don't you agree?


And on the fourth day of Ascot Christmas, the royals gave to me... one Sophie recycling her maternity wear (but she isn't, though, and it's sad), one still delighted Queen, and two bonus Jordanian royals! Prince Hassan and Princess Sarvath rode in the Queen's carriage. Also, it's important to note the box of wine handbag at the bottom of that linked article, which I've been delighting in on Twitter. I now suspect Her Maj might have a gin and tonic version. She is quite jolly these days...

And on day five...nada, basically. 
Ascot always winds down towards the end, but this one came to a particularly quiet end, royally speaking. The lovely Princess Sarvath was in the carriage next to the Queen again, though, which was the best bit.

Who wins your Ascot best dressed?

Photos: AP/AFP/Getty Images/PacificCoastNews/Reuters