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, and with nearly seven decades on the throne, Queen Elizabeth II has spent more than her fair share of time at the races.
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 (i.e. the newly minted Duchess of Sussex) received all the attention for her Royal Ascot debut earlier this week in a lace-embellished Givenchy mididress with a handkerchief hem and Philip Treacy hat, Queen Elizabeth II has been the tried and true style star of the races for years with her tailored coats, colorful hats and practical pumps. Keep scrolling to see Her Majesty’s best Royal Ascot fashion moments!