Windsor, Ont. criminal lawyer Rae-Anne Copat has made the British celebrity gossip scene after an unassuming visit to the Royal Ascot horse race last month.
Copat, a sole practitioner, and her best friend Jody Stojcic, were travelling in the U.K. and had obtained passes to the famous race from a friend at the Canadian High Commission. A former equestrian herself, Copat had purchased a hat for the occasion from the same milliner who made soul singer Aretha Franklin’s famous hat for the 2009 inauguration of President Barack Obama, Mr. Song Millinery in Detroit.
Copat laughs at the clash of cultures the day of the race. “We had to go and jump on a train at Waterloo station which was hilarious because you’re getting there at 8:30 in the morning, everyone’s going to work and then you see the people in the morning coats, top hats, and hats, all getting on this one train and leaving town.”
She and her friend had passes for the Royal Enclosure — different from the Royal Box — but nonetheless highly restricted. “When we walked in there were lots of people taking pictures and they just kind of pulled you aside and said, ‘Oh we love your hat,’” Copat said. No further questions were asked. “I never even thought twice about it.”
Back home a few days later she got an email from her high commission friend jokingly asking “are you royalty in training?” There was a link to celebrity web site tressurgar.com and a collage of Carole Middleton — Kate and Pippa’s mom — and Queen Elizabeth and her granddaughters princesses Beatrice and Zara Phillips.
Only it was Copat — who bears a strong resemblance — in the picture, not Phillips. Said the lawyer, “You kind of have to laugh. It’s funny. I mean, how often do you get mistaken for royalty?”