The Royal Ascot: forget the horses, let

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On something called 'Ladies Day' at the Royal Ascot, 18 June 2015. Photo: Samir Hussein/WireImage

The Royal Ascot: forget the horses, let

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Showing off her plumage. Photo: Anwar Hussein/WireImage

The Royal Ascot: forget the horses, let

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We can't tell if she's trying to hide or stick out like a sore thumb. Photo: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

The Royal Ascot: forget the horses, let

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On your left is Sofia Hayat, who some may remember from Bigg Boss 7. We can't take our eyes away from her dog clutch. Photo: Samir Hussein/WireImage

The Royal Ascot: forget the horses, let

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Bringing new meaning to the phrase 'cherrypicking'. Photo: Tolga Akmen/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

The Royal Ascot: forget the horses, let

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Designer Larisa Katz was clearly not sure about the event's sunshade arrangements, so she brought her own. Photo: Samir Hussein/WireImage

The Royal Ascot: forget the horses, let

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Birds of a feather. Photo: Samir Hussein/WireImage

The Royal Ascot: forget the horses, let

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Hello, Crown Princess. Photo: Samir Hussein/WireImage

The Royal Ascot: forget the horses, let

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"Baby, I can feel your halo...". Photo: Samir Hussein/WireImage

The Royal Ascot: forget the horses, let

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Keeping it sharp. The panache is all in the angle. Photo: Anwar Hussein/WireImage

The Royal Ascot: forget the horses, let

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The hair gets our nod as much the hat. Photo: Tolga Akmen/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

The Royal Ascot: forget the horses, let

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....Because why not? Photo: Samir Hussein/WireImage

HEADDRESS HEDONISM

The Royal Ascot: forget the horses, let's talk about the hats

Catch Team @catchnews

If you were to make a list of essentially British things, the Queen, horse-racing and funny hats would probably make your top 10. And every year in mid-June, the three combine in a spectacle that embodies antiquated British-ness - The Royal Ascot.

It's the world's most famous race meeting. But that's hardly what it's known for. Instead, the Royal Ascot is rightly more popular for its patrons' fashion sensibilities. With the Queen as guest of honour, the creme de la creme of European high society descends on the races attired in headgear designed to blind, or at the very least distract, the jockeys.

It's hard not to be charmed at the ridiculousness of it all. There are hats so bright you need sunglasses to cope; others so large they create a negative space around the wearer. Some are stylish, most quirky, a few unforgettable. Either way, they give us an insight into the mindset of British high-society - a group so ostentatious they could walk past the Queen of England wearing a basket of fruit on their heads.

Text by Ranjan Crasta.

Catch Team

Catch Team @catchnews