Ascot revellers go extra furlong on race day – but it all gets too much for some

Royal Ascot got underway today with revellers and royalty rubbing shoulders at the famous horse racing event.

Donning flamboyant hats and high stilettos, race-goers were snapped sharing laughs, drinks and romantic moments.

Some were spotted walking around barefoot and a few had a snooze in the grass.

Others supped straight from the Champagne bottle as they toasted a very British day out.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry were also at the famous venue to congratulate jockey Frankie Dettori after he won the St James’s Palace Stakes.

The Duke of Sussex watched on as his new wife was pecked on the hand by Dettori, on the first of the five-day event this afternoon.

The royal couple were presenting the jockey – who has been suspended after over-using his whip – with the glittering trophy following the 4.20pm race.

The former actress and animal lover could be seen smiling and joking with the three-time British champion, before he lent in to plant a peck on her hand as they greeted one another.

But husband Harry looked less than impressed, only finally cracking a smile after the winner let go of his wife’s hand and lifted his prize.

The crowds of revellers also appeared to be having fun, with one woman appearing to have given up on her glass as she gripped a bottle of what looked like Champagne.

Another lady was snapped appearing to help her friend out as she nearly fell over.

Meanwhile, the excitement seemed to have got a bit too much for quite a few race-goers, who were pictured having a lie down on the grass.

Ascot management scrapped the practice of roaming alcohol sellers in the stands and added to their arsenal with trained sniffer dogs monitoring attendees.

Ascot Racecourse Chief Executive Guy Henderson said: "The use of illegal drugs and their contribution to anti-social behaviour is a significant issue for all major events.

"This year we will continue proactively to address these challenges in order to pre-empt incidents arising from excess alcohol consumption and other anti-social behaviour."

Racing is now Britain’s second largest spectator sport with the Royal meeting is expected to attract 300,000 racegoers this year, with 70,000 expected to attend Thursday’s Gold Cup Day alone.

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