Royal Ascot fans, who wouldn't be able to attend this year's horse race in person, dressed up in race day finery at home to mark the commencement of the festival.
The annual race meeting commenced for the first time behind closed doors on Tuesday. This is the first time that the five-day festival which became a 'royal week' in 1911 won't be open to its 300,000 visitors. To cheer up the fans, a social media trend was started wherein people shared on social media what they were planning to wear at the racecourse. Olympic equestrian and British royal family member Zara Tindall also participated in the challenge.
Zara Tindall, the eldest granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II, along with her husband Mike Tindall, went all out by dressing up in the finest attire from the comforts of their home on Princess Anne's Gatcombe estate in Gloucestershire, where they have been isolating with their two children, Mia, six, and Lena, one. The equestrian posed in blue Beulah dress featuring button-down design and frill details and paired it with a matching fascinator by Juliette Botterill, while her former rugby player husband wore a grey morning suit and teamed it with a black top hat.
"When it's day 1 of Royal Ascot and you have nothing else on!!! @itvracing #wishiwasthere," Mike wrote on Instagram alongside the picture. The 41-year-old also shared a group picture from the previous year's races on his Instagram stories. Virtual attendees have also been joining in the fun by sharing their pictures in race finery on social media with the hashtags #StyledWithThanks #RoyalAscot.
Meanwhile, the queen released a message of support to those who share her "passion" for the event. The monarch had to skip the race for the first time in her 68-year reign, praised the "valiant" efforts of organisers and said she is sure it will still be the "highlight" of the racing calendar, despite the "different" circumstances.
"This year Ascot will feel different for many, as it is so often a chance for friends, families and colleagues to gather together and enjoy a shared passion. To everyone attending Royal Ascot, in person or virtually, I hope you have a most enjoyable and unique week of racing," the 94-year-old stated.