The Royal Ascot: celebrating more than a century of iconic looks
Incredible outfits from the famed Ascot Racecourse
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England's famed Royal Ascot boasts a history dating back more than 100 years. During that time, while many were plugged into the horse races, others were just as enthusiastically observing the fashion choices of an annual highlight that never disappoints.
The Ascot Racecourse in Ascot, England was founded by Queen Anne in 1711. By 1813, Ascot held such prominence that Parliament passed an act to ensure that it remain a public racecourse. Despite this, until 1945 the only racing that could take place there was the four-day Royal Meeting.
On the topic of the Royal Meeting, it was officially first held in 1911 during the third week of June, a tradition that continues to this day. Queen Elizabeth II and other members of the British royal family attend every year.
In 2004, the racecourse closed for 20 months for redevelopment. Consequently, the Royal Meeting was held at York Racecourse in York, England in 2005. The Queen, owner of the Ascot estate, reopened the racecourse in 2006.
More recently, over 300,000 attend Royal Ascot week, making it the best-attended event of its kind in Europe. Undoubtedly, the Royal Ascot is where sport and pedigree (of the human and horse variety) meet. But we must not overlook the impact it has had on fashion.
Where have you ever seen more unique headgear? You simply haven’t.
The press room at Ascot must be quite the sight, with sports and fashion journalists alike mixing throughout the week.
But has the Royal Ascot always been worthy of the fashion buzz it gets? Well, a picture is worth a thousand words, so let’s try several dozen!
Click through the following gallery for vintage images of the Royal Ascot throughout its history.
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