Eugenie at Ascot in short dress

Princess Eugenie caused controversy by wearing a dress which ended several inches above her knee when she attended Royal Ascot yesterday (17.06.08).

The 18-year-old royal appeared to have either forgotten or ignored the ban on mini-skirts for the Royal Enclosure at the world-famous horseracing event, and wore a white studded Collette Dinnigan dress for the occasion.

She accessorised the short dress with a purple Philip Treacy hat, complete with a feather, and a matching purple jacket from Arrogant Cat, an exclusive boutique in London’s Chelsea.

However, Royal Ascot spokesman Karen Smith said she had not seen the outfit.

She said: “As long as it is not a miniskirt and is in keeping with the rest of the outfit then the wearer would be allowed into the Royal Enclosure. The idea that hemlines must be no more than two inches above the knee is a bit of an urban myth.”

Eugenie was accompanied by her 19-year-old sister Princess Beatrice, who abided to the rules by wearing a monochrome Alexander McQueen suit – the skirt of which finished on her knee.

New dress code rules were introduced at the event after last year’s racegoers pushed boundaries with a variety of skimpy outfits. Royal Ascot this year banned short skirts and any outfit which bares the midriff.