Yes, there are horses and royals, but the real star of Ascot is the fashion – especially the hats!
Royals, horses, show-stopping hats: Royal Ascot in pictures
Extravagantly feathered, gravity-defying or just plain wacky. There are hats, and then there are Royal Ascot hats.
Every June, Britain’s royals, aristocrats and thousands of stylish guests don their finest headgear for Royal Ascot, a glamorous annual horse-racing event that dates back to 1711, when Queen Anne founded Ascot Racecourse in Berkshire, southern England.
The weeklong bonanza is Britain’s most popular race meeting, with some 300,000 visitors attending over five days. It’s the place to see and be seen, and photographers are spoilt for choice each year with a parade of show-stopping hats and frocks for the women and formal top hats and tails for the men.
Queen Elizabeth II, an avid horse lover and owner and breeder of many horses, did not attend the event this year — reportedly the first time the 96-year-old monarch has missed Ascot in 70 years. Instead, Prince Charles and Camilla, Prince William and Kate and other royals took their places in the traditional carriage procession.