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Royal Ascot - more than a day at the races

  • Story Highlights
  • Royal Ascot is one of the highlights of the sporting and social year
  • Fashion and outlandish hats are a familiar feature of the event
  • Queen Elizabeth II is a regular daily visitor to the course to witness the action
By Timothy Abraham
For CNN
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Royal Ascot comes to an end Saturday after five days of pomp and circumstance, royal grandeur, free-flowing champagne and impossibly big hats.

The annual horse-race meeting, held at the Ascot Racecourse in Berkshire, England is a highlight of the British horse racing and social calendars.

Queen Elizabeth II, a race enthusiast, makes a daily appearance, arriving at the course in a horse-drawn carriage, putting the 'Royal' into Ascot.

The event attracts more than 300,000 spectators to watch prestigious races including the Ascot Gold Cup, the Queen Alexandra Stakes, and the Golden Jubilee Stakes.

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But more exciting than the racing is the display of over-the-top outfits and outlandish hats worn by female spectators.

Where else could you get away with wearing a wedding cake on your head?

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