Welcome To The Egalitarian Ascot

  1. By ROBERT HARDMAN For tha Dailymail

    Social historians might care to make a note of a small but noteworthy landmark which took place at 12.30 yesterday afternoon in a marquee in the Queen's back garden.


    For the first time in the 300-year history of Royal Ascot, the people were able to buy their way into the Royal Enclosure. Once, you needed impeccable royal or racing connections to make it through the closely-guarded entrance.

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    An excited racegoer arrives at the popular social occasion sporting suitably extravagant headwear with a distinctive heart-shaped bow design.

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    Racegoers Jodie Sykes and Linda White pose for the cameras
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    Camilla struggles with her hat in the wind

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    A group of glamorous ladies in flamboyant hats arrive for the first day of the Royal Ascot

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    Crowds pack the Royal Ascot grandstand


    As this year's Royal Meeting opened yesterday, you simply had to pay £740 for a five-course lunch including lobster thermidor and all-day champagne.
    The former Everest of social climbing has now been reduced to a gentle hillock.
    But, for regulars like the Queen, such seismic social reforms were of minor interest compared to the big question of the opening day: could Royal Ascot salvage its reputation after the great shambles of 2006?
    The answer seemed to be a guarded 'yes'. Last year, the Ascot Authority opened its brand new racecourse just weeks after an 18-month, £210million rebuilding programme.
    There were queues for everything, crushes everywhere and many racegoers vowed never to return.

    The management, who received 1,000 formal complaints last time, spent £10million on improvements ahead of yesterday.
    But it had clearly not impressed some people. The crowd was way down on last year's opening day by more than a quarter - from 55,000 down to 40,000 (half its 80,000 capacity).
    There was no dip in the royal turnout, though. The Queen, Prince Philip, the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke of York and the Princess Royal were among a full house in the Royal Box. Scroll down for more...
     
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  4. The hats get crazier each year!
     
  5. Those are some crazy hats!! I would never be able to pull something like that off, I would look crazier than them, lol!!
     
  6. Hahaha fabulous! I want a crazy hat-how fun!
     
  7. Hmmm, interesting :smile:
     
  8. I love the hats! They look like abstract sculptures!
     
  9. Those crazy hats LOL
     
  10. I agree Danae Love the artwork like hats!
     
  11. I'd love to go to Ascot but I think I would try to wear a NICE hat rather than some of them. I like the group of Bright Ladies with their hats some of them are lovely.

    The Queen looked lovely in her Cerise Pink too, and the Gents looked good in their Morning Suits.
     
  12. wow!! lovely hat really creative and artistic. Thanks for posting the info Love hearing about what's going on at home.:heart:
     
  13. Those hats! You could hurt somebody with those things lol!!
     
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    Elegant: , While Dame Kelly Holmes brought the sunshine in a yellow and black backless Izzy Miyake number, while Carol Vorderman wears a deep coral Celine
     
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    Zara Phillips and Princess Anne put a brave face on things