Royal Ascot
Photo: Getty/Chris Jackson

On Tuesday, royals descended on the small town of Ascot for a five-day horse race that’s one of the biggest society events of the year in the UK. The Royal Ascot, which has been a tradition since around 1711, features the world’s best race horses, plus the fanciest fashions and food money can buy. Here’s what you need to know about the longstanding tradition.

It was a royal tradition from the start.

Royal Ascot
Photo: Getty

According to People, in 1711, Queen Anne rode her horse from Windsor Castle to the field and said, “This would be a fine place for a race.” Later that year, the first event was held, and the tradition has continued ever since. The royal procession has been going strong since 1825.

The royals make a spectacular entrance.

Royal Ascot
Photo: Getty

CNBC reports that a British monarch has attended the Royal Ascot every year since its inception. And at 2 p.m. each day, the Queen and the rest of the royals enter via a procession in horse-drawn carriages. The carriages travel down the race track and into the parade ring. Then, they enter the Royal Enclosure, the most exclusive section of the venue.

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The Royal Enclosure is incredibly fancy.

The Royal Enclosure is an invitation-only section of the Ascot Racecourse. It was established in 1807, originally only for guests of King George IIITown & Country reports that there’s a very strict dress code, with women asked to dress modestly and wear hats or headpieces with broad bases. Fascinators are out of the question. Men must wear traditional morning dress, complete with a hat—regardless of how hot it gets. And everyone has to wear a name tag, even the royals. The parking lot is also exclusive, with a 100-year waiting list, since guests gather there for picnics.

It’s a big party for the rest of the attendees, too.

Around 300,000 people attend the Royal Ascot every year, and like many horse races (think the Kentucky Derby in the States), there are varying degrees of how fancy things get. In the Village Enclosure, things are the most casual, with food stands, bars, and entertainment stages, and concerts going on into the night.

The Queen Anne enclosure is more upscale, with a stricter dress code, and fans can check out the races from elevated lawns.

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There’s a ton of money involved.

The event features five days of racing, and the prizes are staggering. The Royal Ascot’s websitenotes that horse racers compete for more than £7.3 million ($9.6 million) in prize money, making the race the most valuable in the UK. The event has eight Group One races, which are the highest level possible.

But it can still get rowdy.

CNN reports that security has been beefed up this year because of fights during horse races. Apparently, there have been drunken brawls at the Goodwood and Ascot in May, so officials are trying to make sure people behave in front of royalty. People won’t be allowed to roam the stands selling beer, and security will use breathalyzers if people appear “overtly” drunk.

Royal Ascot
Photo: Getty

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This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR US.