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Protesters clash with police as royals, Delta and Matildas celebrate Melbourne Cup

Cup clashes

Twitter/@MattH093

Pro-Palestine protesters have clashed with police outside Flemington Racecourse at the 163rd running of the Melbourne Cup on Tuesday.

A group estimated by Victoria Police at about 100 chanted ‘free Palestine’ and ‘ceasefire now’ outside an entrance where they attempted to block a road.

Tensions mounted as the protesters were reportedly threatened with OC spray and several were physically removed from near the front gates and arrested.

Meanwhile Greens Senator Mehreen Faruqi joined animal welfare protest support groups against the Melbourne Cup, holding ‘Nup to the Cup’ banners outside Parliament House in Canberra.

Fashion and racing form guide commentator Allanna Grayston labelled the protesters “grubs” on her Instagram.

“I bet all these anti racing grubs & greenies supporters in Victoria still enjoy their public holiday time off,” she posted.

The protests took place as 85,000 people were arriving for this year’s race that stops the nation.

Royals and celebrities frock up

Twin nieces of the late Princess of Wales, Diana — Lady Amelia and Lady Eliza Spencer — were among the first big-name celebrities spotted.

Headlining the huge contingent of famous faces inside the Birdcage, the identical blond Spencer twins, 31, followed in the footsteps of their aunt who was a guest of honour at the Melbourne Cup in 1985.

This year, bright red was the colour of choice, with elaborate hats, fascinators and feathered creations the big standouts.

Seven sports reporter Emma Freedman and Melbourne model Demi Brereton were also red hot early arrivals until Delta Goodrem made an entrance in a stunning canary yellow full-length gown in a nod to the Cup day rose, while the Matildas’ winger Cortnee Vine graced in a pale pink pants suit.

Vine said she was enjoying some downtime as she recovers from a hamstring injury and wouldn’t be celebrating too hard in the marquees.

“Not too much dancing, but a lot of cheering,” said Vine.

While the $600,000 Cup trophy made its entrance onto the track, Goodrem included a cover of America’s You Can Do Magic and a live performance of Born to Try.

“I have very fond memories of being at school they would wheel the TV and everybody in the class would talk about what horse they were betting on and I love tradition,” Goodrem said.

Eliza and Amelia Spencer inside the Birdcage at Flemington. Photo: Getty

Fashion stakes

Back in 1985, Diana wore a black-and-white skirt suit by British designer Bruce Oldfield and a hat by Australian-born UK royal milliner, the late Freddy Fox.

Fast-forward 38 years, the twins, who grace red carpets and fashion spectaculars around the world, chose a haute-couture Melbourne label, Cappellazzo.

The Age reported the daughters of Charles Spencer wore “fire danger warning” red dresses by the bespoke designer.

Amelia wore a Stephanie Browne headpiece and Eliza a Ezara J metal veil.

“I think we both love dressing up for different occasions,” Lady Amelia, wearing the short dress, told the newspaper.

“But being able to dress up for something as iconic as this is a unique experience, and we thought why not be bright and bold and really express our inner personality,” Lady Eliza added at a doorstop inside the enclosure before they paraded their way to the Lexus marquee.

The twins’ mother is Victoria Lockwood, a former fashion model who married Charles Spencer in 1989.  Prince Harry was a pageboy at their wedding.

This year, the Victoria Racing Club (VRC) rolled out new race wear rules, with midriffs and cut-outs allowed for women in member areas.

“This is not about becoming casual or relaxing rules,” Neil Wilson, chairman of the VRC, told The Age ahead of this year’s carnival.

“It’s the opposite.”

“This is not a case of anything goes.”

For members, backless styles must stop at the waist, well above the buttocks, while the I Dream of Jeanie rule, which required Barbara Eden to cover her belly button in the sixties TV series, applies to midriffs, reported the outlet.

“It’s not about going for your life,” Wilson said.

“A cut-out in this context is what we believe is appropriate for our brand. It needs to be considerate of the environment and think about the elegance of that.”

No national Australian sports day is complete unless Delta Goodrem arrives. Photo: AAP

Pro-palestine protesters arrested by police at the perimeter of the Flemington Racecourse. Photo: AAP

These racing fans were at the head of the queue as gates opened to the general public. Photo: Getty

Racegoer Selina McCosskey. Photo: AAP

Influencer Damien Broderick (iconic trainer Gai Waterhouse said shorts should be worn at Bondi or Altona beaches). Photo: Getty

Matildas’ Cortnee Vine. Photo: Getty

Melbourne model Demi Brereton. Photo: Getty

Emma Freedman. Photo: Getty

Crystal Kimber. Photo: Getty

Georgina Burke: Photo: Getty

Contestants in the fashion on the field competition parade for judges. Photo: Getty

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