Best Dressed at Royal Ascot 2016

Royal Ascot has wrapped up for another year, so let’s take a good look and pick our winners in the style stakes. We recently recapped all of Ascot’s infamous dress code rules (click here for a refresher) so this is all about the fun of the big hats and jewels.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth: Best in Delight

Of course we have to start with the Queen. Her delight was clear as Princess Beatrice presented her with the prize for the Hardwick Stakes. Her horse Dartmouth was the winner on Day 5 of Royal Ascot and this was HM’s first win there in 3 years.

Her jaunty blue coat is the work of septuagenarian Peter Enrione. The Queen calls him ‘Mr. Peter’ and he still likes to work on his pre-war sewing machine. The hat is by Angela Kelly and the ensemble got some extra dazzle with her Jardine Star Brooch and three-strand pearl necklace. The necklace was a gift from  her grandfather in 1935 and we’ve written all about it here.

The Duchess of Cambridge

Kate made her first Royal Ascot appearance this year in a gorgeous lace Dolce & Gabana dress, the ‘Una’ hat by Jane Taylor, and pearl drop earrings.

I LOVE this look and think it’s one of Kate’s best ever. My only suggestion for improvement is, of course, her shoes – she went for a nude pear of suede(!) pumps. These are still neutral but are infinitely more fun and chic.

Sophie, Countess of Wessex

Love the robin-egg blue dress, love the aquamarine brooch, hate the hat. Hate. So close, Sophie. So close.


Princess Anne

Princess Anne was a bit of a mix this year. As the thriftiest of princesses, she naturally brought out a repeat (this purple floral ensemble was first spotted at Prince William’s wedding). The Royal Order of Sartorial Splendour aptly called this look ‘Eliza Doolittle, pre-makeover’.

So let’s call this white and black ensemble Anne’s post make-over version. I can completely envision Princess Margaret wearing this coat in the ’60’s.


Princess Eugenie: Best in Modern Eliza Doolittle

On that note, let’s call Princess Eugenie’s ensemble Best in Quirky Eliza Doolittle based on her hat alone. Feathery explosions can be tricky but it works and I love Eugenie in a proper brim. This should be encouraged.


Princess Beatrice

Beatrice showed up on all five days of the races, but this hat is my favourite by far. The gossamer fabric and button detail on the sleeves are lovely. I’m willing to overlook the beaded collar which is just a lot.

Unfortunately, Bea later covered it all up with this jacket (*covers eyes with hands*). Nice to see the Duchess of York invited into the fold, though, and in a smart outfit. It looks like the grommets on her coat collar also came with black ribbons (check out the sleeves). Full marks for leaving them off.


Zara Philips

Yes to the full skirt, yes to the hat, yes to the stocky heels that won’t sink into the grass.

This looks is definitely more fun, thought. Totally crazy but fun. Full marks for the yellow handbag.


Crown Princess Mary of Denmark

Crown Princess Mary was at Ascot, and she chose this orange Marc Jacobs dress with a keyhole neckline and rose hat. She looks lovely and followed the dress code, but I think Royal Ascot calls for something a little more formal and less whispy.


Princess Haya

Princess Haya bint Al Hussein looked glorious in red, particularly thanks to her wide brimmed hat. This is one time that swizzle sticks work.

So, who’s your favourite here? The Duchess of Cambridge gets the blue ribbon from me. 

P.S. 10 things you may not know about Grace Kelly’s wedding dress is here and a chat about the Queen’s first necklace is here.



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