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Capped in controversy: The wildest hats worn at Royal Ascot over the years

Yep, they went there...

By Jess Pullar
When you think about Royal Ascot, there are three C's that come to mind - classy, clean and chic.
But for anyone who's been following the coveted fashion-forward racing event in recent years, there's another word we can't ignore: Controversial.
And before you ask, the said embroiled controversy hidden within the seemingly glamorous event has nothing to do with politics.
Nope, this contestable feat is all to do with what's on the outside - plain and visible for all to see, as opposed to anything brewing beneath the surface.
In case it's not already been subjected to your eyeballs, we are of course talking about hats - and all the questionable shapes and forms they come in as they descend on the greens of Ascot racecourse each year.
Indeed, each year, royal fans revel in the stunning dresses donned by Britain's elite as they take to the racecourse for five days of fun, frivolity and plenty of fashion.
But throughout it all, there's one rather niggly irk that keeps a cast iron grip on all the fairy-tale-like elements of the prestigious affair - that headgear.
Despite the formal dress code (and even a no-facinator rule) which is heralded loud and clear each year, for some reason there never seems to be a shortage of, er, unbecoming hats.
The rule is clear - if a headpiece is worn, it must have a solid base of 10cm or more in diameter - nothing less is acceptable.
But enacting this rule does give rise to interpretation - and some of our favourite rules have really taken advantage of that.
From our infamous queens of headgear Beatrice and Eugenie, to the likes of Zara Tindall, we've seen some seriously whack hats take centre stage at Ascot over the years.
Now, as 2019's glamorous event rolls around, we decided to take a look back at the best of them - taken with a rather hefty grain of salt of course.
Prepare your eyeballs, you're about to be subjected to a three-course extravaganza of hat-happenings that'll be tough to forget.
WATCH: A guest loses her hat at Princess Eugenie's windy royal wedding. Gallery begins after video...

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