Pippa Middleton Loves a ‘Characterful’ Hat

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Photo: Jesa / Tanna/Splash News/Corbis

Exemplary spectator of British pastimes Pippa Middleton is back with her intermittent Vanity Fair column about watching people exercise. Pippa has exhausted human sports, for now, and moved along to sports for animals. She's writing about Royal Ascot Week, which is a series of 30 horse races that masks a cutthroat hats one-upmanship among fancy British people. As Pippa writes, Royal Ascot Week gives supposed equestrian fans "the chance to dress up and wear a characterful hat as large as a wedding cake."

Characterful, within the strict parameters of Royal Week fiat, of course. If you are in the Royal Enclosure seating tier, for example, you must "be in the Height of Fashion" and ensure there is "at least a four-inch base" to your headpiece. Is it the oldest passive-aggressive English tradition to visually obstructing fellow bystanders with stiff, colorful ruffles? Perhaps! Pippa didn't say.