Off to the Kentucky Derby! Let the Royals Inspire Your Hat Game

We're off to the 2016 Kentucky Derby races — or at least, dressing the part. Whether that actually means you're headed to Churchill Downs or rooting for your favorite horse at a friend's party, there's one accessory that will supply all the Derby chic you'll need, and that, of course, is a gorgeous hat.

What better place to draw outfit (read: headgear) inspiration from than the royals abroad? Namely, the always on trend Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, and — of course — Queen Elizabeth II, who has a particularly stellar hat collection.

We're zeroing in on the most masterful works of hat art, courtesy of our favorite royal figures. Let this be a lesson: where royalty and the Kentucky Derby are concerned, the more dramatic the hat, the closer to heaven. Read on for all the inspiration you'll need.

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Princess Beatrice attended the Easter service at St George's Chapel with a festive headpiece in April 2015.

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Kate paired her pearl-adorned Alexander McQueen coat with a Jane Taylor headpiece at Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey in March 2015.

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Kate Middleton donned an Alexander McQueen hat that conjured up images of a rose at the annual Remembrance Sunday Service at the Cenotaph on Whitehall in November 2014.

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For a wedding in Feb. 2014, Pippa added a little flair to a coatdress with a floral headpiece.

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The Duchess added a floral-adorned headpiece to her Alexander McQueen look at a WWI Commemoration in 2014.

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Pippa brought the drama with a bold fascinator at the wedding of Lady Melissa Percy and Thomas Van Straubenzee in June 2013.

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Princess Beatrice of York waved to the crowds outside the royal wedding in April 2011.

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Prince William's cousins all stood out inside Westminster Abbey, thanks to their artful hat creations.

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Camilla Parker Bowles arrived at Westminster Abbey for Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding in April 2011.

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Sophie, Countess of Wessex, wore a peacock-inspired hat to Easter Sunday service this year.

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Kate Middleton and Prince William at the Order of the Garter service in June 2011.

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Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden matched her coral orange sun hat to her ruched gown at the royal wedding in April 2011.

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While not technically royal, David Beckham and Victoria Beckham are Britain's unofficial royal couple. At Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding, Victoria Beckham stunned in a Philip Treacy hat that could easily be a piece of art.

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Queen Elizabeth II stepped out in July 2012 in a flurry of bright pinks and dramatic florals.

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Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie attended day one of Royal Ascot 2011, wearing (respectively) a wide-brimmed sun hat and a teal green fascinator.

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Kate Middleton looked pretty in purple at a wedding in 2009.

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As part of the Diamond Jubilee, the royal couple attended a service at St. Paul's Cathedral in June 2012.

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Charlene Wittstock, Princess of Monaco, chose a large wide-brimmed white hat for the royal wedding in April 2011.

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Kate Middleton erred on the side of statement-making with this black feather-infused hat in March 2013.

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Tiffany blue has never looked more regal than on Queen Elizabeth II.

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At Zara Phillips's wedding, Kate Middleton wore a cream white hat that came complete with a rose detail.

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Princess Sophia of Wessex attended a wedding in Luxembourg in October 2012.

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High shine, gold, and drama — Princess Beatrice exhibited all three things (in one gorgeous hat) at day five of Royal Ascot in 2010.

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Pippa Middleton wore a pretty red and black — complete with netted veil — fascinator to a wedding in February 2011.

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Queen Elizabeth II turned up the brights in matching sherbet orange pieces in July 2012.

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Princess Beatrice went with turquoise blue for Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall's wedding in 2011.

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Hats off to Beatrice and Eugenie knowing how to rock a seriously bold hat.

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Princess Eugenie went the dramatic route for Prince William and Kate Midldeton's wedding, choosing a hat that featured flowers and feathers.

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Two white roses accented Princess Beatrice's hat at day one of Royal Ascot 2009.

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Inspired by Canada and during her North American tour, Kate Middleton donned a Canadian maple-leaf-shaped hat in July 2011.

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Queen Elizabeth II matched her mint green hat to her ladylike coat for the Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2012.

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Guests — all topped off with decadent hats — awaited the start of the royal couple's wedding at Westminster Abbey in April 2011.

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Aside from the unique shape (is that a bow tie we spy?), the fuchsia color is also very becoming on Zara Phillips.

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Kate Middleton, in matching pinks, and Camilla Parker Bowles, in all white, attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May 2012.

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Prince Felipe of Spain and his wife, Princess Letizia of Spain, attended a wedding in Luxembourg in October 2012.

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More guests arrived at the royal wedding wearing their very best, hats included.

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Kate Middleton wore a white Alexander McQueen coatdress and Jane Corbett hat to last year's Order of the Garter service.

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Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall looked dapper at Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding.

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Kate Middleton went with a two-toned black and white hat for the Order of the Garter service in 2008.

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Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie stepped out at Royal Ascot 2010 in artful hats.

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Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden dared to wear one big rose-adorned hat at the inauguration of King Willem Alexander in April.

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Together, the sisters made two of the most memorable (hat) entrances at the royal wedding in April 2011.

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Kate Middleton's black mesh hat was ultrachic at the 2011 Trooping the Color.