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The Wackiest Fascinators of the Royal Ascot

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The royal-est of all the many British horse races, the Royal Ascot is a more than 300-year-old tradition in which women compete for the title of wackiest fascinator. Well, not exactly — I'm told the actual main event has something to do with horses — but basically.

Located just a few miles from Windsor Castle, the Royal Ascot is the most popular race of the year, and is even attended by Queen Elizabeth herself. Arriving via horse-drawn carriage (how appropriate!), the Queen sits in the fanciest of three areas for spectators — so fancy, it even has its own dress code. Skirts must be just above the knee or lower, no midriffs, no off-the-shoulder tops; hats are a must, but no fascinators.

In the second-fanciest enclosure, women must wear a hat or a fascinator, and no strapless dresses, shorts, or midriffs are allowed. The general area doesn't have a formal dress code, but the track "encourages racegoers to wear smart clothes." Above, the wackiest fascinators of the bunch, plus what they'd be called if they had names.