Bonjour everyone! Hope your morning is as sunny and warm as mine is! I started my day off with something rich and sweet – coffee cake. Not my typical healthy fare, but it was so good that I didn’t care! In preparation of this tasty treat, I ran a few extra minutes – it’s all about balance ladies!
And speaking of rich and sweet, for those of you who follow British news (like I do), the Royal Ascot took place last week. Many of you might wonder – what exactly is the Royal Ascot? Well, quite frankly, it is a posh horse race, similar to the US Kentucky Derby or the Belmont Stakes.
Royal Ascot takes place over 5 days in June at the Ascot Racecourse. Ascot Racecourse is a famous English racecourse, located 50 minutes outside of London. It is one of the leading racecourses in the United Kingdom and has close ties to the British Royal Family. Royal Ascot is one of the world’s most famous horse race meetings at Ascot, dating back to 1711. It is a major event in the British social calendar, and press coverage of the attendees and what they are wearing often exceeds coverage of the actual racing.
According to several reports, Royal Ascot 2009 was attended by Queen Elizabeth II, who has been to every Ascot meeting since 1945. The monarch, who arrived with the royal family in their traditional carriage procession around the course, wore a golden yellow-and-white silk dress.
Now, I’ve never been a gambler, but it has become a tradition for my husband and I to go to the horse races over Father’s Day weekend with his parents. Each time we go, I can’t help but think of the wonderful movies that featured British horse races. Sadly, our race course will never be of My Fair Lady quality, but it did undergo a huge renovation a few years ago which greatly improved its reputation.
But, as I mentioned above the real reason women in Britain go to the Royal Ascot is to see and be seen – particularly in their fancy dress clothes and hats! So, this year, during my annual trip to the race track, I thought I’d do a little investigation to see how fancy women attending a local US horse race really are.
To prepare, I sported my own pink-striped, wide-brim hat and dark sunglasses which allowed me to remain incognito during my investigative assignment. Being in disguise definitely has its benefits!
To my surprise, and despite the very warm temperatures, I saw very few hats being warn by women. And, many of the hats I did see would not be considered fancy enough for British taste (unless baseball caps have become Ascot-worthy). I walked up and down the aisles and throughout the grandstands, hoping to find at least a few lavish brims. Although it took most of the afternoon, I did find a handful of these gems, although they were definitely not as showy or flamboyant as those seen at Ascot or even the Kentucky Derby.
There was one other older woman in a very large navy-brimmed hat with white polka-dots. Wow, that hat was something else! Too bad the women was in the upper grandstands where I could not get a good shot of her.
Well, after nearly 3 hours of sleuthing around, I really had no more to show than a few basic brims and sore feet. I heard from a reliable source – aka my mother-in-law – that you have to get to the track really early to see the best hats. I guess the early girl gets the hat in this case!
I’m off for a fun-filled day of shopping and then on to an outdoor musical performance!