Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Horses! The Flowers! The Hats!

scot. The very name conjures up images of immaculately coiffed and attired upper classes strutting their stuff along with the horses. I just love the witty hats, especially the floral ones! Ascot is England's most famous racetrack, but it's also a fashion show for the elegant and eccentric.

The Royal Ascot races date back
to the days of Queen Anne, in 1711. Ladies' Day is also known as"Hat Day", a true fashion lover's extravaganza of over-the-top hats, the latest designer outfits and outlandish accessories.

Royalty is always in attendance at Ascot.
(After all, it's THEIR day!)

Hobnobbing is the order of the day.
Therefore, there are many rules that must be adhered to:

-No gum chewing.
-Brown shoes are banned
-Bare legs are frowned upon, though Princess Diana did manage to getaway with this a few times.
-Convicted criminals are still banned.
-Tradition holds that as soon as the Queen finishes eating, everyone else must stop as well!

Other interesting statistics: 75,000 bottles of wine and 120,000 bottles of champagne are consumed, as are 550 gallons of cream (the English do love their cream!) and 4.5 tons yes, tons of strawberries.

Outlandish costumes notwithstanding, the raison d'etre for Ascot is the high stakes horse race, with a purse this year of more than 2 million pounds. (about $3,500,000). Which is very nice for the winner.

But really, isn't it all about the hats?

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