LivingTravelRoyal Ascot - A very special day at the...

Royal Ascot – A very special day at the races

If you’ve ever wondered why thoroughbred racing is called the sport of kings , one day at Royal Ascot in June will make it all clear.

The 5-day race, at Ascot Racecourse in Berkshire, just down the road from the Queen’s weekend digs, Windsor Castle, draws the finest and best-cared horses in the world. They get to compete for Britain’s richest wallets: In 2015, the prize money was estimated at £ 5.5 million, and their owners are among the richest and most celebrated people in the world, including sultans and sheiks, tycoons of movies, captains of industry and Most of Europe’s crowned heads.

But Royal Ascot is much more than a major event on the international racing calendar. It is one of the key social events of England’s highly social spring and summer sporting season (which also includes the Wimbledon tennis championships and the Royal Henley Regatta). And of course, if you’ve ever heard of Ascot, you probably already know that it’s famous for its fashion, especially the quirky and sometimes outrageous Ascot hats.

Fortunately, for the rest of us who do not own multi-million dollar stallions and have had no crowns in memory of late, Royal Ascot is also a very democratic affair. Anyone who can raise the price of a ticket, as little as £ 27 for what is known as the Silver Ring (more on pricing and follow-up areas later) and who can put together an outfit to suit the individual. dress code is welcome. Although the racecourse is on land belonging to the Crown Estate, it is protected as a public facility by an act of Parliament dating from 1813.

Why Royal Ascot?

The actual connections of the event are both historical and contemporary. They have been competing at Ascot for over three hundred years. The course was established by Queen Anne in 1711 because she enjoyed a little betting on horses and wanted fun near Windsor, her favorite palace.

Royalty has had an interest in horses and horse racing ever since and the current Queen Elizabeth is no exception. The horses from his stables compete regularly and in 2013, his horse, Estimate, won the Gold Cup, the central race on Ladies’ Day. The arrival of the royal party, in their open carriages, at the beginning of each Royal Ascot day is one of the highlights for spectators.

Ladies Day en Royal Ascot

Royal Ascot’s great race is the Gold Cup, a flat race for four-year-olds that has been run for more than 200 years. It takes place on Ladies’ Day, the Thursday of the match, when fashions and finery almost overshadow the great race.

If you happen to be at Waterloo Station that day, you will see the place teeming with women in quirky hats and colorful dresses. You can also see men in coats and top hats. Designers, celebrities and ordinary race goers compete to outdo each other.

By 2012, fashion became so outrageous that a dress code was imposed for guests in the Royal Precinct and Tribune. A minimum of bare meat, modest skirt lengths, and appropriate hats are specified. Men in the Royal Precinct were required to wear ties and morning suits or suits with vests were required. Now if you visit Royal Ascot’s official website (which is very entertaining by the way), you will find fashion videos and a downloadable Royal Ascot style guide.

If you wanted to go

Tickets will be available through the Ascot website in January and popular days (Ladies Thursdays, as well as event Saturdays and Sundays) sell out very quickly. Usually it is possible, although to get tickets for the Silver Ring at least until the end of May. These are the ticket categories for Royal Ascot:

  • The Royal Enclosure – Entry is by invitation only and applicants must be sponsored by someone who has attended the Royal Enclosure for at least four years. This venue has the strictest dress code and men generally wear top hats or formal national dress.
  • The Queen Anne Enclosure (formerly Grandstand) – Anyone can buy tickets to Ascot’s state-of-the-art Grandstand (rebuilt at a cost of £ 200 million between 2004 and 2006). The dress code is a bit more relaxed but still relatively formal. Tickets for the grandstand in 2016 cost between £ 75 and £ 85, depending on the day.
  • The Windsor Venue (formerly the Silver Ring) – This is an outdoor area across the track from the grandstand. It offers the best view of the spectacular Ascot Grandstand. There is no dress code, but people generally dress for the occasion. Tickets in 2016 ranged from £ 34 to £ 43. Picnics, blankets and folding chairs are allowed, but it wouldn’t be Royal Ascot without some rules and there are even rules that apply to picnics. If you go and plan to bring food, check the Picnic Policy first (really).
  • Tickets online through the Royal Ascot website.


Elizabeth II spends the night in hospital after canceling her visit to Northern Ireland

Queen Elizabeth II of England has spent a night in hospital, from Wednesday to Thursday, after canceling her visit to Northern Ireland

The Chip Butty: A Serious British Sandwich

A chip butty, a sandwich made from French fries, is a food phenomenon that could only occur in Britain, where the humble spud is a clump

English Heritage Overseas Visitor Pass: How to Get the Most Out of It

This discount pass for free unlimited access to an edited selection of over 100 of the best English Heritage sites is the kind of

Panto Season 2018/2019 – Watch What's Happening in the UK What's Up? Where? During...

Cities, towns and villages have one or more pantos for the holiday season. Use this list to find some of the biggest productions.

What you need to know to attend the Royal Henley Regatta

The Henley Royal Regatta is one of the largest rowing events in the world. Every July the world's best rowers head to Henley-on-Thames, west of