Founded in 1711 by Queen Anne, the annual Royal Ascot at the Ascot Racecourse in Berkshire, England, has been one of the most prestigious and stylish events on the British social calendar.
The five-day fete that occurs every June is always attended by a slew of high-profile royals (after all, the king or queen must be on hand each day to officially open the event) and society types. Before her death on September 8, 2022, Queen Elizabeth II enjoyed several races during her 70 years on the throne. (Her Majesty died peacefully at age 96 at Balmoral Castle in Scotland.)
With one of the strictest (but chicest!) dress codes around, the Royal Ascot can only be described at the Kentucky Derby on steroids. Men are required to wear a morning suit and waistcoat with either a black or grey hat. Oh, and socks and black shoes are mandatory. Ladies, meanwhile, are asked to wear modest dresses and toppers with a base of at least four inches, which means there are no fascinators allowed.
While Meghan Markle received all the attention for her Royal Ascot debut in 2018 in a lace-embellished Givenchy midi dress with a handkerchief hem and Philip Treacy hat, Her Majesty had been the tried and true style star of the event for years — thanks to her tailored coats, colorful hats and practical pumps.
One of her most standout looks came in 2017 when she looked like a ray of sunshine in head-to-toe yellow. The late monarch wore a vibrant dress coat paired with a coordinating hat and a black top handle bag.
Keep scrolling to look back at Her Majesty’s best Royal Ascot fashion moments: