Vintage photos of Ascot reveal how the races have changed

Historic photographs taken at the Royal Ascot, some over 100 years old, show just how much the races have changed over time.

Images that date back to the nineteenth century show how ‘being seen’ was just as important to racegoers as it is today.

Thursday saw jockeys compete in the 210th Gold Cup, with Big Orange pipping last year’s victor Order Of St George to the finish line.

Spectators of the event, which was held on Ladies Day, were adorned dressed in flamboyant dresses and donned larger-than-life hats.

A photograph from 1933 shows how some things never change.

Extravagant hats have always been ‘in’ (Picture: Karwai Tang/WireImage)

Two women stop crowds on the second day at Royal Ascot, 1933 (Picture: News Dog Media)

Racegoers walk through a field on their way to the Royal Enclosure in 1930. (Picture: News Dog Media)

The Royal Procession circa 1900 Picture: (Picture News Dog Media)

Two opulent ladies showcase their extravagant hats and a fluffy parasol.

But other Ascot fashions appear to have died out.

An image of a woman, wrapped in a fur coat, admiring an accordion player’s pet monkey, belongs firmly in its year of 1935.

And back in 1930, there weren’t so many transport options when it came to getting to the races.

A photograph taken from the year shows a long line of high society ladies and gentlemen traipsing through a field from a railway station.

Racegoers wore black for King Edward VII’s death in 1910 (Picture: News Dog Media)

Major and Mrs Hedges take to Ascot in their finery, 1922 (Picture: News Dog Media)

Ladies dress to impress in 1900 (Picture: News Dog Media)

Persimmon after his popular win in 1897 (Picture: News Dog Media)

Ascot Racecourse was founded in 1711 by Queen Anne and the very first race named ‘Her Majesty’s Plate’ was run with a trophy of 100 guineas.

But it wasn’t until 1807 when the Gold Cup was established where once again, the inaugural winner, Master Jackey, was awarded prize money of 100 guineas.

The first race took place in the presence of King George III and Queen Charlotte.

In 1844, the race was attended by Nicholas I of Russia while making a state visit to England. That year’s winner was unnamed so he was given the name ‘The Emperor’ in recognition of the visiting monarch.

While the changing fashions have changed over the decades, Ascot’s unique place in the social calendar has remained steadfast.

A racing official testing the scales in the jockey’s weighing room in 1924 (Picture: News Dog Media)

Racegoers tuck into a picnic by the side of their car, 1921 (Picture: News Dog Media)

Some styles are timeless (Picture: DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)

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