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Hold on to your hats: It's Royal Ascot week

Royal Ascot kicked off in damp weather on Tuesday, but there were plenty of colorful dresses and hats to lighten up the grey skies at Britain's famed horse racing event.

England's famed horse racing event is also famous for fashion

(Toby Melville/Reuters)

At Royal Ascot, hats are more than good fun.

Racegoers were dressed in an array of frocks and finery, including these Union Jack and EU-themed outfits (nods to the June 23 referendum), on opening day at the Royal Ascot horse races in England. 

(Toby Melville/Reuters) (Toby Melville/Reuters)

Many were also adorned with feathered and floral headgear. 

(Toby Melville/Reuters)
(Andrew Cowie/EPA)

Racing got underway under heavy skies.

Many attendees were forced to seek shelter under umbrellas to shield themselves from rain on Tuesday, the first day of the horse racing event that runs until Saturday.

(Andrew Boyers/Action Images/Reuters)
(Andrew Cowie/EPA)

Fancy attire is a time-honoured tradition.

There are three different sections racegoers can enter. Each is ticketed and has its own dress code. The fanciest of the three zones is the invitation-only Royal Enclosure where men are required to wear a waistcoat and tie, black shoes and a top hat, like these two running for cover.

(Chris Jackson/Getty)

Women must wear a hat in the Royal Enclosure, too.

Women, too have wardrobe rules: Dresses or skirts with straps that aren't too skinny and fall just above the knee (or lower). Hats for women are also required here.

(Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty)
(Chris Jackson/Getty)

No fancy hat or suit?

The Silver Ring area has no specific rules on what to wear, but Ascot's organizers encourage snappy dress for all attendees. The Royal Ascot website says guests are encouraged to "contribute to an occasion heralded as a major fashion event in its own right." For the truly fashion-focused, Thursday is Ladies' Day when attendees really dress to impress.

(Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty)

As the name implies, there are royals in attendance.

Days after her 90th birthday celebration, Queen Elizabeth made her customary entrance by stagecoach on Tuesday. 

(Toby Melville/Reuters)

Prince Harry and Princess Beatrice were also in attendance.

(Chris Jackson/Getty)

As were Princess Anne and Princess Birgitte.

The Princess Royal and Duchess of Gloucester arrived by coach together. 

(Chris Jackson/Getty)

Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, was there, too.

(Chris Jackson/Getty)

With files from Reuters

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