Haute couture meets high-class racing
The world’s finest thoroughbreds, high-stakes drama and magnificent millinery are the hallmarks of horseracing’s most revered meet. Each year, Royal Ascot blends sporting theatre with sartorial sophistication, as thousands of spectators cheer the jockeys and trainers competing for £8million in prize money.
Royal Ascot is an event steeped in tradition. This cornerstone of the British social and sporting season has begun in the same manner since the 1800s, with the Royal Procession: a ceremonial carriage ride, at two o’clock precisely, when Her Majesty the Queen heralds the beginning of the event. Since the 1970s it has closed with a soaring singalong around the Bandstand, with a military band leading the rousing chorus.
Five days of spectacle and sportsmanship begin each morning with the opening of the gates by the Royal Ascot Greencoats – or ‘Yeoman Prickers’ as they were historically known. There are six thrilling races every day: the Queen Alexandra Stakes is the longest, while Thursday’s Gold Cup is the oldest, most prestigious and ardently contested of flat races. Thursday is also the now iconic Ladies Day, when top-class racing meets haute couture.
Royal Ascot: tickets to indulge
From pâtisserie to picnics, Royal Ascot is synonymous with fine dining. In 2020, a stellar line up of Michelin-starred chefs include Simon Rogan and Raymond Blanc, while MasterChef: The Professionals judge Monica Galetti makes her debut. Adding a quintessential flavour to this thoroughly British day, afternoon tea has become a Royal Ascot institution, and picnics on the picturesque lawns are summer personified. For an extra measure of indulgence, the elegant champagne bars are the perfect way to toast a winning race.
16 - 20 June 2020
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