Top Hats At Royal Ascot : The Picture Show Every year, England's elite gussy up for the annual Royal Ascot races, attended by princes, princesses, dukes and the Queen herself.... not to mention judges from TV's "Britain's Got Talent." Top thoroughbred horses race for trophies during the fo...
NPR logo Top Hats At Royal Ascot

Top Hats At Royal Ascot

Every year, England's elite gussy up for the annual Royal Ascot races, attended by princes, princesses, dukes and the Queen herself.... not to mention judges from TV's "Britain's Got Talent." Top thoroughbred horses race for trophies during the four- day affair, but the spotlight is really on the outlandish creations atop the racegoers' heads. On display this year was a hat in the shape of a giant ice cream cone, and another festooned with a blackbird. One teen from Manchester, Jade Taylor, was weighed down in fanciful headgear made of 800 marshmallows. She told reporters, "I was eating some marshmallows and I just thought I might as well go for it; after all, they're a fat-free dessert."

For full screen, click on the four-cornered arrow icon in the viewer's bottom right.

The annual event started in 1711, and has become a must on England's social calendar. The dress code for the exclusive "Royal Enclosure" section of the racecourse bans halter dresses, bare midriffs and miniskirts. Men are expected to wear top hats and waistcoats, and women must wear hats or "substantial fascinators." Every day, bookies place odds on what color hat Queen Elizabeth will showing up wearing, as she watches her own horses and others compete.