22 JUNE 2007

Even the rain couldn't dampen the high spirits or high fashion of the young royal set at Ascot on Thursday. Style-savvy Zara Phillips led the field at Ladies Day, cleverly combining two of the season's key trends in a leopard-print wide-brimmed titfer.

While many of the racegoers bolted for cover as the heavens opened, the 26-year-old royal beat the downpour in a Lauren Bacall-style trench. The Queen was another top performer in the hat stakes wearing an elegant white creation set off with a chocolate brown, polka-dot rosette.
Also sharing the Royal Box with the two ladies was Prince Andrew. The monarch's middle son arrived with a new friend, socialite Goga Ashkenazi, who proved an animated addition to the party, bringing a smile to the royal matriarch's face.

Another royal escorting an attractive guest was Peter Phillips. He was accompanied by Canadian-born Autumn Kelly, his girlfriend of four years. The pretty 31-year-old was invited to join the Queen's Windsor Castle houseparty over the event, heightening speculation that their relationship, which is taking an ever more serious turn, will end in marriage. Peter and Autumn made a handsome couple as they chatted with Andrew Parker-Bowles, the Duchess of Cornwall's ex-husband.

Other head-turning appearances at Ascot included the arrival of Ivana Trump and Olympic medal-winner Kelly Holmes - who wore a funky, cleavage-revealing dress with her saucer-shaped confection. Former model Ivana, who was accompanied by her 37-year-old beau Rossano Rubicondi, had opted for an eye-catching affair which incorporated a flourish of rose-coloured feathers.

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As she chatted with the Queen, Zara was the out and out winner of Ladies Day in this towering leopard-print creationPhoto: © Getty ImagesClick on photos for gallery
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Sweethearts Autumn and Peter took in the action alongside Camilla's ex Andrew Parker Bowles. The pretty Canadian has been the Queen's guest at Windsor Castle this weekPhoto: © Getty Images
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Prince Andrew ushered his stunning guest Goga Ashkenazi into the Royal Box where she met the monarchPhoto: © Rex