The Royal Ascot, five days of horse racing that are a major event in the British social calendar, ended Saturday. I had read with fascination about Ascot, with its interesting combination of high-end millinery and heavy drinking, and so this spring I secured a press pass, which gained me admittance to the Royal Enclosure, the most exclusive section, which requires men to wear top hats and tails.

This was a place I did not belong, and therefore exciting. I bought a hat, sewed up a hole in my dress (this required threading a needle) and shaved my legs, possibly for

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