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Violent brawl breaks out at Royal Ascot as England's ladies parade (Slideshow)

The fight started at the champagne bar as the Queen watched the races nearby, and had to be broken up by members of a military band.

A hat on display at Ladies' Day 2010
A hat on display at Ladies' Day 2010
Image: Anwar Hussein/Anwar Hussein/EMPICS Entertainment

LADIES’ DAY AT Royal Ascot is a red-letter day in the British aristocracy’s calendar, but it went downmarket yesterday as a fight broke out at the champagne bar.

Well-dressed ladies scattered as eight men in suits wielded table legs and champagne bottles in the melee – thought to have started over a woman. One onlooker told The Sun: “The men in the fight were friends. They were joined by a group of girls who were leading them on. Suddenly punches were thrown and I heard one of the girls say, ‘Oh are they fighting over me’.”

Witness Sophie Healy told the Daily Mirror: “They started pushing and shoving. We got out of the way and then suddenly our table, with a newly-bought bottle of champagne, went flying.”

The men were eventually pulled apart by members of a nearby military band at the racing event in Berkshire, England. It’s thought nobody was arrested over the incident, which unfolded as the Queen watched the races from a nearby stand.

Ladies’ Day is the centrepiece of the Royal Ascot festival, and has become famous for the outlandish costumes and hats worn by racegoers. However, not everybody was happy with the couture on show yesterday. According to the Daily Mail, racing commentator Sir Peter O’Sullevan said: “Sometimes the grandstands seem over-run by tattoos and bare flesh. It’s disrespectful – not just to the Queen, but to the horses.”

Slideshow: Some of the exotic outfits on show at Royal Ascot Ladies’ Day

Violent brawl breaks out at Royal Ascot as England's ladies parade (Slideshow)
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  • Ladies' Day at Royal Ascot 2011

    It never rains but it poutsSource: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
  • Ladies' Day at Royal Ascot 2011

    Female racegoersSource: David Davies/PA Wire
  • Ladies' Day at Royal Ascot 2011

    If the shoe fits...Source: David Davies/PA Wire
  • Ladies' Day at Royal Ascot 2011

    A Titanic-themed hatSource: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
  • Ladies' Day at Royal Ascot 2011

    An outfit "celebrating 300 years of Ascot Racecourse"Source: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
  • Ladies' Day at Royal Ascot 2011

    Now hat's what I call artSource: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
  • Ladies' Day at Royal Ascot 2011

    Another bird-themed hatSource: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
  • Ladies' Day at Royal Ascot 2011

    A reporter for The Sun wears a hat designed to poke fun at super-injunction libel lawsSource: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
  • Ladies' Day at Royal Ascot 2011

    Model Aimee Nazroo in a Modern Milk hatSource: David Parry/PA
  • Ladies' Day at Royal Ascot 2011

    A female racegoer with a bird-themed hatSource: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
  • Ladies' Day at Royal Ascot 2011

    Racegoer Jenny Munklik wears a black swan style hatSource: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
  • Ladies' Day at Royal Ascot 2011

    Birds of a feather flock togetherSource: David Davies/PA Wire

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Michael Freeman

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