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Summary

  1. Pictures from Ladies Day at Royal Ascot
  2. The 4.20 Gold Cup will be ridden in honour of the Queen's 90th Birthday
  3. Gates opened at 10:30 BST on Thursday 16 June
  4. Thunder and lightning is predicted at 14:00 BST, just before the Royal Procession

Live Reporting

By Alex Regan, Sarah Lee, Adam Whitty and Tim Dellor

All times stated are UK

That's all from Ladies Day

Alex Regan

South Online

There've been hats, there've been laughs, there's been John Mcririck.

Royal AScot
PA

We've had a blast at Ladies Day and will be back with all the build-up to the fourth day of Ascot tomorrow. 

In the meantime, tune in to BBC Sport's coverage from all the races. BBC Radio Four's tips are the Order of St George in the 4.20 Gold Cup and Manson in 5.00 Britannia Stakes. 

And the hats keep on coming

The hats at Royal Ascot have been incredible this year, here are a few more gems. 

hats
PA
hats
PA
hats
PA
hats
PA

Singing for the Queen at Ascot

The Queen has just arrived at Royal Ascot, but racegoers are watching the Nation Anthem sung elsewhere.

Hundreds of fans have now descended on bars across the racecourse to get a glimpse of the game, before returning to the racing action later this afternoon.

Ascot racecourse bars fill with football fans
BBC
Standing room only at Royal Ascot
BBC

The Queen has arrived in the Royal Procession

Alex Regan

South Online

The Queen has arrived and, absolute shocker, she's wearing a hat and dress that doesn't match! But we think she looks great. Orange hat, blue dress. The punters betting on yellow will be livid. 

The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh in the Royal Procession
Channel 4
No rain today for the Royal Procession

He's a horrible horse, a real brute, but I like the look of him'

The Gold Cup, taking place at 1620 BST, is the feature race of the day, and one of the biggest races at Royal Ascot.

Racing expert John McCririck has shared his tip for the winner, although it doesn't sound like he'd want to spend an evening with the horse in question.

You can't escape the football, even at the races

Alex Regan

South Online

There's no escape of the football, even at Royal Ascot. These two ladies have created Welsh and English-themed headpieces. 

England Wales
PA

And Ascot have placated footie fans and put it on the big screen in its exhibition hall. 

View more on twitter

Warming up for Her Majesty

The Irish Guards Band have quite a lot to do today.

They're playing the national anthem when The Queen arrives at 14:00 BST, and then trumpeting their way through the rest of Ladies Day.

Sports editor Tim Dellor has sent us this shouty film.

View more on twitter

'Not sure Frankie Dettori will be happy riding a donkey'

It seems that a passerby has had some equine-related japery with the car park signs. We're not sure any donkeys will be running in the 4.20 Gold Cup, but we'll have a mosey around the paddocks shortly.

View more on twitter

Follow all the race coverage and results on BBC Sport

Alex Regan

South Online

Hats are the big talk of the morning on Ladies Day, but the good people at BBC Sport will be keeping their eye on the race results throughout the afternoon. 

In the meantime, here's today's itinerary. 

Franki Dettori
PA

14.30 The Norfolk Stakes (Group 2) 5f

15.05 The Tercentenary Stakes (Group 3) 1 ¼m

15.40 The Ribblesdale Stakes (Group 2) 1 ½m

16.20 The Gold Cup (Group 1) 2 ½m

17.00 The Britannia Stakes (Heritage Handicap) 1m

17.35 The King George V Stakes (Handicap) 1 ½m

Traffic delays for Ladies Day

Rory McAllister

BBC Berkshire travel presenter

Due to the bigger attendance at Ascot for Ladies day today, there are a few queues getting into the racecourse:

  • There is very slow traffic on the A332 Windsor Road in both directions in North Ascot around the A330 Winkfield Road junction
  •  There is also very slow traffic on the A329 High Street in both directions in Ascot around the A330 Station Hill junction, because of Royal Ascot
  • Traffic is expected to ease around 13:30 BST
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A rain hat needed for Ladies day

Royal Ascot has been hit by rain showers every day this week and today will be no different, says our weather forecaster Bee Tucker.

Keep an eye on the skies and more importantly, keep your fascinators dry.

First 'mustard yellow', then 'latte pink', what colour will the Queen's hat be today?

If betting on the gee gees wasn't enough, punters are even putting money on what the Queen's hat colour will be. On Tuesday it was "mustard yellow", yesterday it was "latte pink" - whatever that is. 

The bookies' money is on purple as 5/4 favourite, maybe they've got inside information?

Queens hat
PA

Revisiting the Queen's first Royal Ascot

Adam Whitty

BBC Berkshire

It wouldn't be Royal Ascot without The Queen.

We have found footage of her first ever royal procession as sovereign, which took place in 1952, just months after her accession to the throne.

She clearly doesn't get tired of it.

If she has done five processions each year, she will have taken part around 320 times.  

We tip our hat to these weird and wonderful creations

Alex Regan

South Online

Ladies Day is always a chance for the creative, the ostentatious, and the downright wacky. Here are some of our favourite millinery masterpieces.  

Headpiece
PA

Hopefully no rogue sparrows will mistake this woman's headpiece for a feathered friend.

Hat
PA

Give us a tinkle on the rattling Joanna mate! Surely this hat was made for Elton John? Or Liberace, even. 

Hat
PA

A lot of punters get quite hungry in the queue to the restaurant, luckily these two ladies thought ahead and made their dresses out of marshmallows.

hats
PA

Colour coordinated and ready to hit the paddocks. 

Hat
PA

In the words of Poison, Every Rose Has Its Thorn. Let's hope this floral offering has been appropriately pruned. 

Storm clouds brewing above

There is a chance of lightning at Ascot today as storm clouds begin to brew above. Whatever you do - don't put up your umbrella or stand under a tree.

Every chance of noises from above today as the storm clouds brew. Alex D #thunderstorms

Every chance of noises from above today as the storm clouds brew. Alex D #thunderstorms

New year, new Gold Cup

18 of the world's best thoroughbreds will be fighting it out to get their hands on the Gold Cup trophy and the £230,000 prize money this afternoon.

Interestingly, Ascot Racecourse say they make a brand new trophy each and every year.

View more on twitter

Football legend to attend Ascot on Saturday

One of the World Cup-winning 1966 side, Sir Geoff Hurst, will be at Royal Ascot this weekend the racecourse have confirmed today.

Geoff Hurst
Getty Images

Red, Blanc and blue

Another disappointing day for Radio Four's top tips. Can they redeem themselves?

Alex Regan

South Online

Just as the sun sets in the west, Radio Four bungled the tips yesterday and got nothing. But instead of sending them to the knackers yard, we're offering them a third chance, and it looks like they've stepped up to the plate. 

The Today Programme has opted for the Order of St George in the 4.20 Gold Cup, a favourite for most commentators. 

Then in the 5.00 Britannia Stakes they've gone for Manson. 

Hopefully it's a winner, if not expect an angry John Humphrys tomorrow. 

John Humphrys
BBC

What does one wear at Ascot?

There is a strict dress code at Royal Ascot for men and women. For the chaps in the Royal Enclosure, they must wear a long tail coat, waistcoat, trousers, black shoes and a tie. Ironically, the Ascot tie - which is a cravat - is not permitted at Ascot. Also, men should also wear a plain black or grey top hat. 

John Mccririck
Getty Images
John McCrirrick wouldn't get anywhere near the Royal Enclosure with this ensemble

Ladies must wear "modest" dresses or tops and skirts, and either hats or headpieces bigger than four inches. Fascinators are not permitted. And, covered midriffs are a must!

Headdrress
Getty Images
Although the headpiece would technically be permitted, the thin straps on the dress would not be allowed

More Glastonbury than Ascot

This racegoer is preparing for the worst by wearing a pair of wellies, just in case. 

And, in true Ascot fashion, they're Hunter wellies. But of course, darling. 

View more on twitter

Don't let your fascinator get stuck in the turnstile

The gates have opened and lots of ladies with lots of hats are coming through the turnstiles. It seems like the rain is holding off for the time being but Zeus, the God of Lightning, might yet poke his head out around 14:00 BST.   

View more on twitter

Up to half-hour delays around Ascot

Rory McAllister

BBC Berkshire travel presenter

The one-way system is now in place at Ascot and it is causing the usual queues. 

There are up to 30-minute delays around the Sunninghill area but only 10-minute queues around Bracknell. 

Royal Ascot traffic
BBC

Anyone for a selfie?

Ladies Day is upon us at Royal Ascot and the crowds are teeming with excitement, and camera phones. 

Our producer Lucy Hughes has snapped a few vainglorious racegoers at the enclosures. 

Snap
BBC
Snap
BBC
Snap
BBC

A monarch supporting Guy Fawkes?

Tim Dellor

BBC Berkshire sport editor

"It's Ladies Day at Royal Ascot, and the helicopters are already landing on the heath here. Expect lots of limousines to pull up as well. 

"This is a day for flaunting excess. The fashions and the partying will raise a notch today.

"209 years of heritage continues this afternoon as The Gold Cup in Honour of The Queen's 90th Birthday goes at 4:20. Order of St George would be a fitting winner, on an afternoon when St George's flags will be fluttering in support of the England footballers in Lens.

Ladies day at Ascot
BBC

"Three years ago this race gave Her Majesty the Queen a famous win with Estimate. It is hard to imagine such a dramatic outcome today, but Guy Fawkes might give the monarch something to celebrate in the final race on today's card, at 5:35."

The gates have opened

Royal Ascot is officially open for Ladies Day and racegoers are getting excited. 

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It's all so quiet

The BBC Berkshire team are enjoying the quiet before madness descends on Royal Ascot at 10:30 BST. Get ready for hat-related japery. 

Royal Ascot
BBC
Royal Ascot
BBC
Royal Ascot
BBC

Challenge Anneka... to get around the headdresses at Waterloo

It's certainly been a challenge for Anneka Rice to get through Waterloo this morning as she ducked and dived around fascinators in her overalls.

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Whereas others are ready for Ladies Day at Royal Ascot

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Gold Cup ridden in honour of Queen's 90th

The Gold Cup, the most prestigious race in Royal Ascot, will be ridden in honour of Her Majesty today. 

The Queen's horse, Estimate, won the race in 2013 jockeyed by Ryan Moore. 

The Queen
PA

The bookies' favourite is Order of St George, which could be the seventh Gold Cup victory for Irish trainer Aidan O'Brien. 

Two race wins and a baby for Kirby

Adam Whitty

BBC Berkshire

Even though jockey Adam Kirby's partner Megan had a baby 45 minutes before Tuesday's opening race, the Berkshire-based jockey had to turn his attention to winning races at Royal Ascot.

He has since gone on to win two huge races, most recently triumphing aboard My Dream Boat in yesterday's feature race, the Prince of Wales Stakes.

Trainer Clive Cox said: "I should think his partner has had another baby. He has been fuelled with energy and excitement."

Thunder and lightning predicted for today's Ascot

Lightning is predicted at Ascot this afternoon, this won't be the first time that the race meet has been hit by thunder showers. 

In 1955, three people died after lightning hit the wire fence around one of the enclosures. 

Lightning
Ascot Herald

Footie fans can watch the game at Royal Ascot

Are you a race trainer with a mare in the Norfolk Stakes, but can't wait to watch the England vs Wales game?

Well have no fear as the good people at Royal Ascot will be broadcasting the match as racing goes on. 

Wayne Rooney
PA

The game should finish before the The Gold Cup run in honour of the Queen's 90th birthday. 

Read more on Ladies Day at Royal Ascot

Ascot racecourse has said it is staying completely neutral. 

Racecourse soft after continued rainfall

After sporadic rain yesterday and 3mm of water falling last night, the ground continues to be soft.

As with most of the week there are likely to be sporadic downpours, and even thunder and lightning later. 

Royal Ascot
Getty Images

Hats off to the ladies

We'll be bringing you the coverage of the all-important hats at Ladies Day when gates open at 10:30 BST, but what about the last two days? Here are our favourite headdresses from the first two days of Ascot. 

Eye eye
PA

Eye eye, this lady's floral offering might cause her issues with depth perception, but we like it. 

Marinika Smirnova
PA

Russian model Marinika Smirnova must have employed a lepidopterist to catch all those butterflies for her hat. 

Olivia Grant
PA

Actress Olivia Grant went for autumnal colours with a relatively reserved offering. 

EU referendum
PA

And who can forget these two women who went for a referendum-inspired ensemble.

Thrifty Mandy ready for Ladies Day

Not everyone can afford headdresses and finery when broadcasting from Ascot, but our roving reporter Mandy O'Neale has found the ideal solution. Stand in front of a millinery window, pose underneath a hat, and voila!

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Yesterday's race results

Yesterday 16-1 outsider My Dream Boat swept the Prince of Wales Stakes to come first in a dramatic photo finish. But, as per, Radio Four dealt another clanger with their Wednesday top tips. 

You can catch-up on all of Wednesday's race results thanks to the sterling stallions at BBC Sport

Ominous clouds over the racecourse

It's all quiet at the parade ring at the moment, although the weather is expected to do what it does best this afternoon, rain on the parade... ring!

View more on twitter

Best of day two at Royal Ascot

Alex Regan

South Online

As we gear up for the gates to open at 10:30 BST, we've been listening to the best from BBC Berkshire's coverage on day two of Royal Ascot. 

This includes an all-too-brief interview with some bloke from the One Directions, Niall something? I don't know.   

All the celebs at Royal Ascot on day two

Comedy double act and horse owners Ant and Dec were at Royal Ascot yesterday presenting one of the race trophies. 

Also Niall from the One Directions was there. 

View more on twitter

More importantly, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge made their debut at the course. Who will be there for Ladies Day?

Princess Kate and Prince William
PA

Weather update: Cloudy but dry, except when it's not

Currently it's cloudy this morning and unfortunately the forecast is for heavy rain at about 09:00 BST and also, thunder and lightning is predicted in time for the Royal Procession. 

Very very frightening, me!

BBC Weather 16 June
BBC