THOUSANDS of people descended upon the town last week to enjoy this year's Royal Ascot.

Despite the rain, Royal Ascot 2019 saw people from far and wide attend to enjoy a day at the races in one of the most prestigious racing events.

Racegoers donned a range of weird, wonderful and wacky hats for Ladies' Day on Thursday.

The fashion stakes were high on the third day of the famous meeting, with spectators pulling out all the stops to make a statement - from teapot-inspired headgear to mythical animals.

Royal Ascot is as much a social occasion as a sporting event, and horse racing fans take the opportunity to turn on the style, with chic hats, summer dresses and sharp suits.

Debora Day, 67, from Romsey, Essex, wore an enormous white hat she made from voluminous tulle topped with a tiny model of Pegasus.

She completed the look with a matching red and white dress with a long train.

She said: "I was inspired by Ladies' Day and wanted to create something with excitement and atmosphere and fun - everything I do is fun.

"I found the dress in a little boutique shop near where I live, then created the hat to match."

Milliner Victoria Charles was wearing one of her own creations - a collection of mechanical cogs - she said: "The hat was inspired by watches, the mechanism inside a watch and is made of felt to look like metal.

"I love coming to Ascot. I've got lots of my clients here and it's wonderful to get dressed up."

Lawyer Alexa Wolman, 34, from Miami, Florida, was wearing a hat in the form of a teapot, which was pouring flowers rather than tea.

She said: "It's Ladies' Day and I wanted to do something whimsical and fantastical and wanted the flowers to represent the lovely women here today."

The Queen braved summer showers during the week, as the bad weather failed to stop her or thousands of spectators enjoying the thoroughbred racing.

Torrential downpours left racegoers soaked at the height of the sporting spectacle, which attracts top jockeys, trainers and owners from across the world.

Royal Ascot also attracts famous faces, and among the spectators were Coronation Street star Helen Flanagan, former Strictly Come Dancing judge Dame Darcey Bussell and actress Patricia Hodge.

The Coronation Street actress said: "It's the fashion I really enjoy and the day's a chance to dress up and have some fun."

Flanagan, who plays Rosie Webster, gave birth to daughter Delilah last summer and also has a four-year-old daughter, Matilda, with Celtic footballer Scott Sinclair.

Wearing a chic trouser suit and hat by Julien Macdonald, Flanagan said: "Having the Royal Family here also makes it really special."

The Queen arrived in her carriage procession as the rain began to fall but she and the Prince of Wales did not seem to mind the wet conditions in the open-top coach.

The Duchess of Cornwall, seated beside the Queen, put up a see-through umbrella.