Ladies and gentlemen, may we present Royal Ascot 2012. Unless you've been stuck in a hermetically sealed mountain cabin for the past few months, you'll know that this is Queen Lizzie's Diamond Jubilee year - and celebrations at the right royal racing knees-up are thus suitably Rule Britannia-tinged.
Cue Union Jack hats, bunting galore and, erm, champagne bottle millinery with regulation bases. But the great and the good of the racegoing world didn't stop at the Diamond theme and high society (notwithstanding the obligatory hen's parties) turned out in a vast array of fabulous headgear, from a vinyl record style to the head-in-a-birdcage to the devastatingly chic top hat with a twist.
Festive as the races are, dress codes are stricter than ever this year. For the privileged lot in the Royal Enclosure, hobnobbing with Kings, Queens, princesses and characters from Little Britain, the list of rules is exhaustive... and includes actual measurements. See video for more details, but we'll leave you with this snipet from the Ascot Races website:
"Ladies are kindly asked to note the following:
- Strapless, off the shoulder, halter neck, spaghetti straps and dresses with a strap of less than one inch (2.5cm) are not permitted
- Midriffs must be covered -
- Fascinators are no longer permitted in the Royal Enclosure; neither are headpieces which do not have a base covering a sufficient area of the head (4 inches / 10cm)."
- Sydney Morning Herald
Who was your best dressed of the week?