Horses and high fashion – go on a grand day out at Royal Ascot

June 7, 2012

Tours, UK

The history of the Royal Ascot meeting is deeply entwined with the monarchy of the United Kingdom. There are not many other events which have such a long history and rich heritage such as this one.

Racecourse Created by Queen Anne

Ascot Racecourse was founded 301 years ago in 1711 by Queen Anne. She was out riding on day when she found a section of open heath located a short distance away from Windsor Castle. It seemed like a perfect place for horses to run and gallop, so she ordered that it be turned into a race course.

She created its very first race which was known as “Her Majesty’s Plate” and offered a prize of 100 guineas. The event was successful, with seven horses competing, each carrying a weight of 12 stones.

Hundreds of Years of Tradition

Over one hundred years later, Parliament passed an act which ensured that the grounds would remain a public racecourse. Over the years, the event has become a national institution and one of the major events in the British social calendar. The best racehorses in the entire world compete here for over 300,000 spectators every year.

These days, the Queen Anne States still continues in the memory of the Queen who created the racecourse. The current Queen is an avid enthusiast and breeder of racehorses and she also takes a keen interest in the races. Several of the Queen’s horses have competed in the events and have achieved excellent results.

The Modern Royal Ascot

These days the Royal Ascot event has definitely changed, with spectators watching the events on large video screens and texting the results to their friends on their smart phones. However, although technology has evolved over the decades, the traditions of the Royal Ascot meeting still remain very strong.

To this day, the event has strict dress codes so that the atmosphere will retain its old fashioned charm. Ladies are required to wear dresses that fall below the knee and are not strapless and must cover their heads with hats, while men must wear suits and top hats. As you stroll through the crowds at this very special event, you could almost imagine that you have been transported into a long-lost era of British high society.

Getting into Royal Ascot

Royal Ascot officially starts on the 19th of June and finishes on the 23rd of Jun, but if you still haven’t managed to grab a ticket then fear not, as there are still plenty of ways to get there. According to the Royal Ascot website tickets are still currently available for all days, except for Silver Ring tickets on the Saturday. To book tickets visit the Royal Ascot website, you can also call +44 (0)844 346 3000 for ticket enquiries; holidaymakers wanting to visit Royal Ascot may also want to check online for a number of UK tour operators offering package deals to Ascot, including entrance tickets, coach fare, shuttle buses and accommodation.

Dress Code & Ticket Enclosures

There are three separate enclosures at Royal Ascot; The Royal Enclosure, the Grand Stand & the Silver Ring. Tickets for the Silver Ring are available from £16 a day, whereas tickets for the Grand Stand come at a slightly steeper £46 (if bought at a group discount). Ticket buyers must ensure that all members of the party must conform to the designated dress code of the ticket area.

Royal Enclosure: Formal wear

-    Men must wear a black or grey morning suit, accompanied by black shoes, a tie, a top hat and a waistcoat.
-    Women must wear formal dresses of a certain length and must wear a hat, which has a base of 4inches or more.

Grand Stand: Smart wear

-    Men must wear a suit with a shirt and a tie
-    Women must also wear formal wear, including a hat or fascinator. Please ladies, no exposed midriffs.

Silver Ring: Casual

-    There is no explicit policy in the Silver Ring, but race-goers are encouraged to dress smart and avoid going topless.

Are you going to Royal Ascot this year? Have you already chosen what you’re going to wear? Tweet us a picture and we’ll add it to out Royal Ascot Gallery!

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