Ascot Royal Enclosure

For five days every June Royal Ascot hosts the Queen's official thoroughbred race meeting. Founded by Queen Ann in 1711 this high society event is steeped in tradition. There is a rigid dress code, plenty of champagne and Pimms and a joie de vivre that is core to the British people.

Attended by more than 300,00o guests annually, it is never missed by the Queen who arrives promptly in a carriage drawn by four white horses at 2pm. Guests may only attend the Royal Enclosure with a member and Badges with printed names are posted out in advance. It has been our privilige to sponsor friends and family over the years. Once you have attended for 4 years then you may apply to be a member accompanied by two sponsors. A member may only make two recommendations a year, and a married couple equates to one referral.

Ladies are required to wear modest attire and a hat with a base of no smaller than 4 inches – fascinators are not permitted. Men must wear traditional morning dress: a black or grey tailcoat, striped trousers, waistcoat and a top hat.

Our preferred day to attend is on Friday – Thursday is Ladies day and it is very crowded. We have enjoyed lunch in the Royal Enclosure itself but it is prohibitively expensive. We more usually book a table at 11am at one of the restaurants in the main street who all have set menus catering for the big week. Fego and Bar One are two good options. There is parking available but we tend to book a mini bus who drops us and collects us afterwards.

We then aim to be at the Grandstand by 1.45pm to watch the Royals arrive – seeing the Queen always brings a tear to my eye! We then purchase our champagne and place our first bets with the totes on the lawn and watch the first race at the finishing post. It is then time to place collect winnings / the next bet and wander back to the grandstand and watch the horses being paraded and then watching the next race with much excitement. Back to the tote to collect winnings and place next bets – time for a bit of people watching so we go up the escalators to the Royal Enclosure floor for more champagne and to watch the next race from there. We always book the high tea at the time of the final race and watch that while enjoying delicate sandwiches and scones.

This is then my favourite part of the afternoon – we all head down to the bandstand for to soak in the festive atmosphere and to sing our lungs out. The band, music and sing along songs are a brilliant conclusion to a brilliant day!

Here are some photos taken over the years which captures the excitement and splendour of the day!

2019

2017

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