It's the newest thing in the salacious salons of the Upper Classes: Fancy Hat Balls For Holy Rollers. This happy snap (thanks to Reuters) shows part of the Grand Parade where the contestants, grouped by gender, in this case males over thirty-five who never smile, await judgement from the distinguished Panel.
The Panel itself sit unseen in a line of confession boxes and is said to include senior representatives from both the Vatican and the Very, Very High Church of England (the Baptist Theologians were invited to send a judge but they declined) who note things like deportment, hand gestures, sombreness, regality, poise, and, besides the all important fancy hats, the suitability of matching garb.
The Panel was hard pressed to distinguish between participants in this group because of the lavish finery which they wore over their dinner suits and the high quality of the mitres which, as you can see, consist of a tall pointed cleft cap with two bands hanging down at the back.
After much deliberation the man in the centre of the photograph, a merchant banker, was awarded the grand prize because of the inventiveness of the large 'A' which he'd sewn on the front of his glorious headdress.
When asked what it stood for, he replied, "Assumption." People clapped enthusiastically. Some cried, Hallelujah!
But then, when he said, "It's the name of my best racehorse," there was a long silence which was eventually broken by the sounds of the first Waltz.