royal ascot

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anticipated and revered, royal ascot is five days of racing glory, spectacle, royal patronage, and pageantry. for centuries guests have delighted in dressing up for the royal meeting. outfits months in the planning and a showcase of the world’s finest millinery help make royal ascot an occasion like no other. 
(from the packaging for the magnet we bought at royal ascot!)

ever since we moved to london, i’ve been dreaming of going to royal ascot. everything about it sounded fascinating and appealing to me – dressing up (with a required hat/headpiece!), seeing the queen, cheering on horses with fabulous names … so delightful and so british. i always assumed it was super expensive to go and hard to get in, but this year we looked it up and realised that it’s not really either, so we sprung for tickets to the queen mary enclosure. it was one of our most epic dates ever and such a fun day at the races!

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we settled our kids with a babysitter and then took the train out to ascot. before the races started, we took in the exciting atmosphere, had some lunch, and – my favourite part of the whole day – marveled at all the crazy and creative and gorgeous hats!
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^^ this was before i learned how to properly attach my fascinator to my head, ha! ^^
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the royal procession kicked off the day’s events. i’ve seen the queen a few times since we’ve lived in the uk but i still got so excited (like kind of shaky and nauseous because i’m so excited, ha!) seeing the royals come in on their horse-drawn carriages.
here’s the queen, accompanied by the queen of the netherlands:
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here’s kate and camilla!:
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and charles and william on the other side of the carriage:
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we each chose a horse we thought would win for each race and then cheered them on (i was always a sucker for names like “mystical magic” and “rushing wind”). they brought the horses that placed to another other area to show them off and dress them. in the meantime, i sneaked some pictures of amazing hats 🙂
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it was rainy that day, but luckily the grandstand is mostly protected from the rain. we did go down right next to the race track for a couple of the races when the rain let up a little.
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after the last race, we decided to head home (the party continues into the night, but we missed our kids!). as we were walking out, we noticed people were stopped in front of the doors, and everyone was craning their necks to see over each other. we asked someone what was going on and he said that the queen was coming, right then! so we got to see her (along with princess anne, and charles and camilla) right up close. pretty exciting stuff 😉
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i was kind of giddy all day at royal ascot. it was really fun and i’m so glad we made it happen to go this year!

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