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Aishwarya Rai races ahead in the style stakes as she leads glamorous ladies at Royal Ascot

19 June 2013
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Aishwarya Rai was the epitome of elegance as she headed up a host of glamorous ladies attending day one of Royal Ascot.The beautiful Bollywood superstar looked breathtaking in a lacy monochrome dress that fell to her knees and was cinched in at the waist with a black silk sash. Patent court heels, a Wilbur & Gussie clutch bag and a black and white floral hat completed her look.

Katherine Jenkins made a brilliantly bold entrance in a orange colour-blocked dress by Roksanda Ilincic and a matching orange and pink fascinator by top milliner Phillip Treacy. "I love Royal Ascot, it's just so old fashioned, old-fashioned glamour, old-fashioned traditions," the Welsh soprano commented. "I would wear a hat every day if I could." Sophie, Countess of Wessex, also chose a bright block dress and brought her understated elegance to the event in a pleated blue design with a matching hat.

Danielle Lineker — attending with her husband Gary — went for a more muted palette and looked lovely in a pale pink 1930s-style frock that she teamed with a large white hat.

Kim Sears, the girlfriend of tennis star Andy Murray, seemed to have taken a leaf out of Kate Middleton's book, and rejected a designer outfit in favour of the high street. The 25-year-old chose a printed £155 Whistles dress and heels by LK Bennett — beloved by the Duchess. She completed her look with a matching lemon yellow hat.

Simon Cowell's ex girlfriend and confidant Jackie St.Clair made a style statement with her choice of headwear. She stepped out wearing an enormous pink rose created by milliner Bundle MacLaren.

"It's made from layers of silk and is fabulous," she said. "I've been coming to Ascot for 31 years. I like the fashion, the Pimm's and the quintessential Englishness of it. "Eamonn Holmes and his wife Ruth Langsford were dressed to impress as they arrived for day one of the races. Escorted by her husband, dapper in tails and a top hat, Ruth looked lovely in lilac and a complementary cream hat.

Ladies attending Royal Ascot must adhere to a strict dress code, from their headwear to their hemline. Rules include knee-length skirts, straps of at least 2.5 inches wide and big hats.

Guests can of course look to the royal family for a guide in race etiquette — and they didn't disappoint on Monday.

The Queen made a grand entrance processing along the course in a horse-drawn carriage with her son Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall.

The monarch opted for a pretty pink coat and dress by Stuart Parvin, while her daughter-in-law Camilla chose an ivory dress teamed with a cream A-line coat and a matching hat.

Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie both chose to wear horizontal stripes for the occasion. Prince Andrew's eldest daughter wore a navy and white belated-up coat, while Eugenie showcased a monochrome dress paired with a cropped black jacket.

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