Shelagh Fogarty is Leading Britain's Conversation.
24 June 2017, 20:45
I drove past Ascot racecourse on Ladies Day and outside all was calm and ordered.
Inside, all Hell was being let loose.
Underneath the shade of a thousand silly hats, vast amounts of alcohol were being consumed in the afternoon heatwave.
What could possibly go wrong, apart from what usually goes wrong when Britons are encouraged to drink before they have had their dinner?
The scenes were reminiscent of the crowd at a boxing match, who go to see a fight and decide, all things considered, that they would rather provide their own violent entertainment and start throwing chairs at each other.
A man, naked from the waist up was filmed flailing about, knocking over drinks, people and fencing as he attempted to demonstrate what a big boy he is by acting like a toddler.
It could have been worse. At least he was fully clothed from the waist down.
Not to be outdone, women were soon slapping at each other as well. It was Ladies Day after all.
At Royal Ascot! Isn't that absolutely shocking?
No, of course it isn’t. It would be shocking if the day had gone peacefully.
The shirtless man, who was bald as a bowling ball, engaged in a fight with another punter and careened about, fists clenched, shouting 'let's finish it off' as he rampaged through the crowd, knocking things and people over like skittles.
Fair makes you proud to be British.
This all happened in the Queen Anne Enclosure, which sounds a lot classier than it is.
Racegoers in their dressing-up-box Sunday best screamed as the hairless pugilist and another man shouted earthy abuse at one another as though they were on a building site.
They were not. They were in fact in the presence of Her Majesty the Queen, who had been through enough that day, what with the dull speech she had to rattle through in parliament before hot-footing it to the races.
Around shoeless women passed out on the ground, guests could be be heard shouting 'f****** idiot' and 'f*** off you coward' as the violent man lurched about, fists clenched like the baddie in a Charlie Chaplin film.
A woman cried, 'Where's security? Where the f*** are they?'
They were probably shielding the Queen from what was going on in the Queen Anne Enclosure.
Women joined in the melee because many hands make light work of embarrassing the nation in front of the world's press.
The fight started at about 5pm, which was probably five hours after the main participants had started drinking.
One witness said it started out of nowhere.
No it didn't, it erupted out of people not being able to control their alcohol intake. And it started out of stupidity. There's a lot of that about.
It was reported that the bald man was spotted earlier in the day at the Cobham Services off the M25.
He was apparently shirtless even then, but he was wearing a tie, because, you know, that's classy.
As the events unfolded, Her Majesty was presenting the Gold Cup to the winner Big Orange
But all the coverage went to the big lemon.