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Why it’s not a British royal wedding without fancy hats

Fantastical fascinators at royal weddings are part of the social fabric of British culture.

When someone is invited to a wedding, they’ll need to dress for the occasion. But at a British royal wedding, there’s an important addition to their wardrobe that literally stands out above the crowd: the hats and fascinators adorning guests’ heads.

Fancy hats, like the fascinator Princess Beatrice wore to Prince William and Kate Middleton’s 2011 wedding, are a must at royal weddings. They are part tradition and part fashion show. As hat styles and other headdress accessories have come and gone in style throughout British history, hats have remained an essential part of the uniform for royal weddings, horse races, and other high-society events.

Watch the video above to find out why fancy fascinators and other hats are so popular at royal weddings. You can find this video and all of Vox’s videos on YouTube. Subscribe and stay tuned for more.