Queen Anne first saw the potential for a racecourse at Ascot, then called East Cote. Whilst out riding in 1711, she came upon an area of open heath, not far from Windsor Castle, that looked an ideal place for “horses to gallop at full stretch”. The first race meeting held at Ascot took place on Saturday 11 August 1711. Her Majesty’s Plate, worth 100 guineas and open to any horse, mare or gelding over the age of six, was the inaugural event.

I have been fascinated by the hats worn at the Royal Ascot races since I saw Cecil Beaton’s creations for My Fair Lady. Who can forget Eliza Doolittle’s fabulous faux pas? “Come on, Dover, move yer bloomin’ arse!”

Checkout some of the most fascinating creations from the races below. Let us know if you love them or you think they belong in the theatre of absurd!

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Source: Jane Austen Today

Anneka Tanakas Svenka in a Louise Mariette head piece

Belinda Stradwick, dahlings

Isabelle Kristiensen

Incredible peacock hat

Mrs Florence Claridge in Daisy Hat

Veronica Veronina in a Victoria Grant hat

Tracy Rose in a windmill hat

Spot the bird

Pink butterfly hat

Print rose hat

Milliner David Shilling

Daffodil hat

QE2

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