Royal Ascot

By June 5, 2013

Royal Ascot is more than an annual race meet. Like our U.S. Kentucky Derby, it’s an athletic competition that has a fashion-show built-in. The meet, which runs June 18-22 at the Ascot Racecourse, just West of London in Berkshire County (details here) includes the prestigious Queen Anne Stakes on day one, and concludes with the Prince of Wales Stakes. In between, there’s “Ladies Day,” featuring a pageant of eye-catching hats.

Each day in the meet opens with a “Royal Procession” – the arrival by carriage of the Queen and her party. A “Royal Enclosure” hosts sponsors and VIP guests, with very strict dress codes enforced. Tops hats and black shoes are required for men. Hats are de rigeur for women is required in all public areas, and while fascinators were handed out for free to grandstand attendees last year, the petite-chapeau are  NOT allowed in the Royal Enclosure (where it is reasonably expected that every attendee can afford at least 4″ of base for their headwear).

A must-attend for every horse-lover’s summer trip to England. For more information visit Royal Ascot. (For a dress code, see this article and video from the London Telegraph.)

A horse in a large brightly-colored hat by Stephen Jones.

Mares just wanna have fun. Hat by Stephen Jones.

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