Royal ascot dress code

LADIES
Ladies are kindly reminded that formal daywear is a requirement in the Royal Enclosure, defined as follows:

• Dresses and skirts should be of modest length defined as falling just above the knee or longer.
• Dresses and tops should have straps of one inch or greater. Strapless, off the shoulder, halter neck and spaghetti straps are not permitted.
• Jackets and pashminas may be worn. Tops and dresses underneath should still comply with the Royal Enclosure Dress Code. Midriffs must be covered.
• Trouser suits are welcome. They should be of full-length to the ankle and of matching material and colour.
• Jumpsuits are welcome. They should fall below the knee, with regulations matching that for dresses.
• Hats should be worn; however, a headpiece which has a solid base of 4 inches (10cm) or more in diameter is acceptable as an alternative to a hat. Fascinators are not permitted.

GENTLEMEN
Gentlemen are kindly reminded that it is a requirement to wear either black or grey morning dress which must include:

• A waistcoat and tie (no cravats or bow ties).
• A black or grey top hat.
• Black shoes worn with socks.

A gentleman may remove his top hat within a restaurant, a Private Box, a private club or a facility’s terrace, balcony or garden. Hats may also be removed within any enclosed external seating area within the Royal Enclosure Gardens. The customisation of top hats (with, for example, coloured ribbons or bands) is not permitted in the Royal Enclosure.

Novelty waistcoats and ties, unless of a patriotic nature (for example your national flag) are not permitted.

CHILDREN
Girls (aged 10-17) should dress in accordance with the ladies’ Dress Code. However, they may wear a headpiece or fascinator as an alternative to a hat, without any size restriction.

Boys (aged 10-17) should either dress in accordance with the gentlemen’s Dress Code; or alternatively may wear a dark-coloured lounge suit with a shirt and tie.

What It’s Really Like Inside the Royal Enclosure at Ascot

Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty

You don’t have to arrive in a carriage to get the VIP treatment at Royal Ascot!

The five-day horse race is one of the most prestigious events of the year. More than 300,000 people, including the royal family, make the annual visit to Berkshire for the popular outing.

And while there are exciting races to take in, royal watching has become the main event!

Royal Ascot is one of the centerpieces of the royal social calendar – due in part to Queen Elizabeth‘s love of horses and her ever-present status at the festival – and the best way to enjoy it is to be as close to the Queen and the other royals as possible.

“It’s the ultimate luxury Ascot experience,” a regular attendee tells PEOPLE of the elite royal enclosure. “You’re rubbing shoulders with the aristocracy and the elite racing community. Most people in the enclosure are knowledgeable about horses.

“And of course you can get a great sense of the occasion that the Queen experiences.”

The elegant event doesn’t come without a set of rules, including a strict dress code.

According to the official site, the dress code is as follows for the ladies:

• Dresses and skirts should be of modest length defined as falling just above the knee or longer.
• Dresses and tops should have straps of one inch or greater.
• Jackets and pashminas may be worn but dresses and tops underneath should still comply with the Royal Enclosure dress code.
• Trouser suits are welcome. They should be of full length and of matching material and color.
• Hats should be worn; however a headpiece which has a solid base of 4 inches (10cm) or more in diameter is acceptable as an alternative to a hat.

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Gentlemen are “kindly reminded” to wear either black or grey tailcoat, known as morning dress, which must include: • A waistcoat and tie (no cravats)
• A black or grey top hat
• Black shoes Men are permitted to remove their top hats within a restaurant, a private box, a private club or that facility’s terrace, balcony or garden. But there are no rules against throwing them in the air if a horse they bet on comes in first!

Decorating top hats with colored ribbons or bands is not permitted, however, the beautifully-styled name tags add a dash of color each day. Tuesday’s name tag was pale pink.

Another must-have accessory is a pair of binoculars, so you can at least pretend to be watching the race up close! And hanging them around your neck leaves hands free for champagne sipping. Around 51,000 bottles will are expected to be popped open at the course this week.

• Want to keep up with the latest royals coverage? to subscribe to the Royals Newsletter.

Being in the enclosure also gets you slightly more elbowroom at the bars and a great view of the finishing line.

That’s not something the Queen and her party needs to worry about, however. After talking about the horses with her racing manager John Warren, who runs the bloodstock from the stud at Highclere (where Downton Abbey filmed), she heads to her box, located in the main grandstand.

As she makes her way to her viewing area, even the poshest of people get out their phones to capture her every move amid a buzz of excitable chatter and cheers.

Zara Phillips carries on the bizarre Ascot ‘tradition’ P. Beatrice started in 2012 of curtseying perilously low. pic.twitter.com/Kkg4g1Cz08

— William Hanson (@williamhanson) June 14, 2016

Surrounded by family and close friends she’s invited, the Queen has all she needs there. Sometimes family members, like equestrian Zara Tindall might be in a different box and venture out or move between the enclosures while socializing. Phillips, who displayed a curiously low curtsy to her grandmother on Tuesday, also signed autographs for fans.

Royal Ascot Dress Code

Royal Ascot Dress Code – Royal Enclosure

Gentlemen

Gentlemen are required to wear either grey or black morning dress inside the Royal Enclosure, this must include:

  • Waistcoat and tie (no cravats)
  • Black or grey top hat
  • Black shoes

Gentlemen may remove their top hat when inside a Royal Ascot hospitality restaurant, a private club, a private box or that facility’s terrace, balcony or garden. Hats may also be removed within an enclosed external area inside the Royal Enclosure Garden. The customisation of top hats inside the Royal Enclosure is not permitted.

Ladies

Ladies are required to wear formal daywear when inside the Royal Enclosure and this is defined below:

  • Dresses and skirts should be of modest length, falling just above the knee or longer
  • Tops and dresses should have straps of one inch or greater
  • Jackets and pashminas are permitted but must be worn over dresses and tops to comply with the dress code inside the Royal Enclosure
  • Trouser suits are allowed but should be of full length and matching colour and material
  • Hats should be worn; but a headpiece which has a base of 4 inches (10cm) or greater in diameter is an acceptable alternative

Ladies should also note the following

  • Halter neck, strapless, off the shoulder and spaghetti straps are strictly not permitted
  • Midriffs must be covered
  • Fascinators and headpieces without a base of 4 inches (10cm) are not permitted

Children

Children are only admitted to the Royal Enclosure on Friday and Saturday.

Girls

Girls (aged 10-16) should be dressed for a formal occasion, smart summer dresses are suggested. Fascinators, headpieces and hats are permitted but are not compulsory.

Boys

Boys (aged 10-16) should dress in accordance with the dress code for gentlemen. Alternatively a dark-coloured lounge suit with a shirt and may be worn.

Overseas Visitors

Visitors from overseas are welcome to wear either the formal National Dress or service dress of their country.

Serving Military Personnel

Any serving military personnel are welcome to wear Service Dress or the equivalent.

The dress code for Royal Ascot 2019

Racegoers can expect plenty of glitz and glamour at Royal Ascot this June.

The prestigious annual event will take place for four days this summer between Tuesday, June 18 and Saturday, June 22.

Thousands of people are expected to attend, however there is a strict dress code that racegoers must follow.

In 2017 year jumpsuits were added to the dress code. On the change, Ascot Racecourse said: “Fashion and style are an important part of the Royal Ascot experience for all of our customers.

“The annual Style Guide forms a key part of our support for customers to give them inspiration for what to wear to ensure they have a special occasion with us.

“The inclusion of jumpsuits as part of the Royal Enclosure dress code recognises our customers’ fashion-forward taste and reflects our awareness of seasonal trends.”

In previous years, some guests have been turned away for not following the guidelines.

Here are the fashion guidelines to follow for men, women and children for each of the racecourse enclosures.

Hat £650, Sally Ann Provan, top £1,260, skirt price on request both from Erdem, shoes £475, Malone Souliers (Image: Royal Ascot)

Ladies are reminded that formal daywear is a requirement in the Royal Enclosure, defined as follows:

  • Dresses and skirts should be of modest length defined as falling just above the knee or longer.
  • Dresses and tops should have straps of one inch or more.
  • Jackets and pashminas may be worn but dresses and tops underneath should still comply with the Royal Enclosure dress code.
  • Trouser suits are welcome. They should be of full length and of matching material and colour.
  • Jumpsuits are welcome. They should be of full length with regulations matching that for dresses.
  • Hats should be worn; however a headpiece which has a solid base of 4 inches or more in diameter is acceptable as an alternative to a hat.

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Ladies are asked to note the following:

  • Strapless, off the shoulder, halter neck and spaghetti straps are not permitted.
  • Midriffs must be covered.
  • Fascinators are not permitted; neither are headpieces which do not have a solid base covering a sufficient area of the head (4 inches).
  • Strapless, off the shoulder, halter neck and spaghetti straps are not permitted.
  • Midriffs must be covered.

Gentlemen

(Image: Royal Ascot)

Gentlemen are reminded that it is a requirement to wear either black or grey morning dress which must include:

  • A waistcoat and tie (no cravats).
  • A black or grey top hat.
  • Black shoes (worn with socks).

A gentleman may remove his top hat within a restaurant, a private box, a private club or that facility’s terrace, balcony or garden. Hats may also be removed within any enclosed external seating area within the Royal Enclosure Garden.

The customisation of top hats (for example, coloured ribbons or bands) is not permitted in the Royal Enclosure.

Children

(Admitted on Friday and Saturday only)

Girls (aged 10-17) should dress in accordance with the Ladies’ dress code. However, they may wear a headpiece or fascinator as an alternative to a hat, without any size restriction.

Boys (aged 10-17) should either dress in accordance with the gentlemen’s dress code; or alternatively may wear a dark-coloured lounge suit with a shirt.

Queen Anne Enclosure and Village Enclosure

Ladies within the main Queen Anne Enclosure area are encouraged to “dress in a manner as befits a formal occasion” and ladies are should follow the below rules:

  • A hat, headpiece or fascinator should be worn at all times.
  • Strapless or sheer strap dresses and tops are not permitted.
  • Trouser suits and jumpsuits must be full length and worn with a top that adheres to the guidelines above.
  • Midriffs must be covered.
  • Shorts are not permitted.

Gentlemen

  • Gentlemen must wear a suit with a shirt and tie.
  • Bow ties and cravats are not permitted.
  • Socks must be worn and should cover the ankle.
  • Jeans, chinos and trainers are not permitted.

Children

Girls (aged 17 and under) should be dressed for a formal occasion.

Smart summer dresses are suggested. Hats, headpieces or a fascinator may be worn but are not compulsory.

Boys (aged 13 to 16) should wear a suit or jacket with a shirt and a tie.

Younger boys (aged 12 or under) should be dressed smartly but are not required to wear a jacket or tie.

Windsor Enclosure

Whilst racegoers are encouraged to wear smart clothes, no formal dress code applies in the Windsor Enclosure except that replica sports shirts are not permitted.

For all the latest Royal Ascot news and information visit our dedicated page here.

You can also find out about the enclosures with our extensive guide and don’t forget to double-check the strict dress code before you attend.

And take a look at the Royal Ascot weather forecast here.

Last modified on Jun 20, 2019 12:47 BST Sophie Hamilton Read our style guide on how to dress for Ascot, the prestigious racing event in Berkshire. The official rules on dresses, jumpsuits and hats for the Royal Enclosure, the Village and for Ladies Day

Royal Ascot is in full swing and if you want to check your outfit meets official regulations, then listen up. The annual racing event runs until 22 June, so there’s still time to get race day ready. We’ve got all the outfit rules from the official 2019 Style Guide to help you dress for the occasion and avoid flouting the notoriously strict fashion rules. You’ll be pleased to hear that respectable jumpsuits have made it into this year’s style guide and there’s even an enclosure without a dress code.

The 2019 Royal Ascot Style Guide has been compiled in association with cruise line Cunard and stylist Prue White has helped curate suggested looks for the event. Juliet Slot, Chief Commercial Officer of Ascot Racecourse, said: “Fashion and style are an integral part of the Royal Ascot experience for all of our customers. The annual Style Guide provides valuable support and inspiration when deciding what to wear for a day at the Royal Meeting.”

If you’re looking for style inspiration from the royal family, look no further than the stunning Duchess of Cambridge, who got Ascot dressing spot on this week in her elegant Ellie Saab dress with matching hat. Didn’t she looks beautiful?!

Read on for your 2019 Ascot style rules and take inspiration from the official style guide fashion photographer Luìs Monteiro…

A suitable outfit for the Royal Enclosure

Royal Enclosure

This enclosure is the most formal of all four enclosures. Disobey these rules at your peril!

DO:

Do wear a dress or skirt of ‘modest length’, which means falling just above the knee or below. Dresses and tops must have straps of at least one-inch thickness, and full-length trouser suits are allowed as long as they are of matching material and colour. Jumpsuits to below the knee are ok too. You have to wear a hat or a headpiece with a solid base of at least 10 cm.

MORE: 12 times royal women wore summery white dresses! Duchess Kate, Meghan, Countess Sophie and more

DON’T

Don’t wear a strapless, off-the-shoulder, halter neck or spaghetti strapped dress. Exposing one’s midriff is a big no-no and miniskirts and dresses are not allowed. Fascinators are not permitted either.

A suitable outfit for the Queen Anne Enclosure

Queen Anne Enclosure & Village Enclosure

These enclosures aren’t quite as strict as the Royal enclosure yet they are still considered formal.

Do wear a hat, headpiece or fascinator at all time. Like, don’t take it off, not even to scratch your head. It’s a yes to full-length trouser suits and jumpsuits so long as they fall below the knee and they must comply with the neckline rules in the ‘don’t’ section below.

DON’T:

Don’t wear a strapless or sheer dress or top. Strapless means off-the-shoulder, Bardot or one-shoulder. Just like the Royal Enclosure, you are not allowed to expose your stomach and shorts are a clear no.

A suitable outfit for the Village Enclosure

Windsor enclosure

You’ll be thrilled to hear there is no official dress code for this enclosure, although Ascot ‘encourages’ ladies to wear smart daywear.

Do wear smart clothing with a hat or fascinator. That’s it. If you want.

There’s no don’ts. Apart from the extra rules below…

MORE: Is this what royal ladies ACTUALLY carry inside their clutch bags?

A suitable outfit for the Windsor Enclosure

Extra Ascot rules

The following rules apply to all four enclosures:

Overseas visitors are allowed to wear the formal National Dress of their country or Service Dress, and Service military personnel may wear their Service Dress ‘or equivalent’ states the style guide.

Fancy dress, novelty, branded or promotional clothes do not comply with the rules, so are not permitted. You’ll have to put your unicorn outfit away for another occasion, sorry.

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Royal Ascot Style Guide: What to Wear

The Royal Ascot Style Guide, in full

The strictest dress code must be adhered to in this invitation-only area, where you may rub shoulders with royals; “demure” outfits are therefore required.

Ladies

Ladies are kindly reminded that formal daywear is a requirement in the Royal Enclosure, defined as follows:

  • Dresses and skirts should be of modest length defined as falling just above the knee or longer.
  • Dresses and tops should have straps of one inch or greater. Strapless, off the shoulder, halter neck and spaghetti straps are not permitted. Jackets and pashminas may be worn.
  • Tops and dresses underneath should still comply with the Royal Enclosure Dress Code. Midriffs must be covered.
  • Trouser suits are welcome. They should be of full-length to the ankle and of matching material and colour.
  • Jumpsuits are welcome. They should fall below the knee, with regulations matching that for dresses.
  • Hats should be worn; however a headpiece which has a solid base of 4 inches (10cm) or more in diameter is acceptable as an alternative to a hat. Fascinators are not permitted.

Gentlemen are kindly reminded that it is a requirement to wear either black or grey morning dress, which must include:

  • A waistcoat and tie (no cravats).
  • A black or grey top hat.
  • Black shoes.

A gentleman may remove his top hat within a restaurant, a private box, a private club or that facility’s terrace, balcony or garden.
Hats may also be removed within any enclosed external seating area within the Royal Enclosure Garden.
The customisation of top hats (with, for example, coloured ribbons or bands) is not permitted in the Royal Enclosure.

Overseas Visitors

Overseas visitors are welcome to wear the formal National Dress of their country or Service Dress.

Serving Military Personnel

Serving military personnel are welcome to wear Service Dress or equivalent.

So named after the royal who founded the racecourse, back in 1711, the dress code is slightly more relaxed here in the Bandstand area, where racegoers will also have a front-row seat to the Royal Procession.

Ladies within the Queen Anne Enclosure are required to dress in a manner as befits a formal occasion and are kindly asked to take note of the following

  • A hat, headpiece or fascinator should be worn at all times.
  • Strapless and sheer dresses and tops are not permitted. Please note our definition of strapless necklines include off-the-shoulder, Bardot and one shoulder.
  • Trouser suits must be full-length and jumpsuits should fall below the knee. Both must adhere to the neckline regulations above.
  • Midriffs must be covered.
  • Shorts are not permitted.

Gentlemen are required to wear a full-length suit with a collared shirt and tie, and kindly asked to take note of the following:

  • Jackets and trousers should be of matching colour and pattern.
  • A tie should be worn at all times. Bow ties and cravats are not permitted.
  • Socks must be worn and should cover the ankle.
  • Jeans, chinos and trainers are not permitted.

Overseas Visitors Overseas visitors are welcome to wear the formal National Dress of their country or Service Dress. Serving Military Personnel Serving military personnel are welcome to wear Service Dress or equivalent.

The Village Enclosure

A largely outdoor area, this enclosure, opened in 2017, is the first new enclosure for Royal Ascot in 100 years. Jackets and trousers are acceptable attire for men, while ladies are invited to wear wedges and smaller hats.

Ladies within the Village Enclosure are required to dress in a manner as befits a formal occasion and are kindly asked to take note of the following:

  • A hat, headpiece or fascinator should be worn at all times.
  • Strapless and sheer dresses and tops are not permitted. Please note our definition of strapless necklines include off-the-shoulder, Bardot and one shoulder.
  • Trouser suits must be full-length, and jumpsuits should fall below the knee. Both must adhere to the neckline regulations above.
  • Midriffs must be covered.
  • Shorts are not permitted

Gentlemen are required to wear a jacket, full-length trousers, collared shirt and tie, and kindly asked to take note of the following:

    • A tie should be worn at all times. Ties, bow ties or cravats can be worn in the Village Enclosure.
    • Socks must be worn and should cover the ankle.
    • Jeans and trainers are not permitted.

Windsor Enclosure

Formerly known as the Silver Ring, this area allows picnics and has no formal dress code.

  • Ladies and gentlemen within the Windsor Enclosure are requested to dress in a manner as befits a formal occasion.
  • It is recommended that ladies wear smart attire, with a hat or fascinator, and gentlemen wear a jacket, shirt and long trousers.
  • Fancy dress, novelty and branded/ promotional clothing are not allowed on site.

More from the Royal Ascot Style Guide:
What to wear: Flat season | What to wear: Jumps season

Not sure what to wear for horse racing’s greatest meeting? John Naughton has the answers, and not all of them are black…

For those who love horse racing, fashion or simply a great day out, Royal Ascot will always be the centrepiece of the summer season. When it comes to fashion, the ladies have a habit of stealing the show, but all men want to make the right impression.

It’s crucial to remember that different enclosures – there are four – have different dress codes

The simplest way to do this is to follow the advice of the Queen’s late couturier, Sir Hardy Amies, who said: “A man should look as if he’s bought his clothes with intelligence, put them on with care and then forgotten about them.”

In this regard, it’s crucial to remember that different enclosures – there are four – have different dress codes. Follow this advice, and Sir Hardy’s, and you’ll dress to impress wherever you are.

The Royal Enclosure

Guests in the Royal Enclosure enjoy the best of everything, and one of the undoubted perks for the gentlemen is that the dress code is simplicity itself.

It is black or grey morning dress, which means a waistcoat and tie (no cravats), a black or grey top hat that must not be customised with ribbons or bands, and black shoes, worn with socks. Hats may be removed within certain areas, such as restaurants, private boxes and clubs.

Simple sophistication: Royal Enclosure guests enjoy the best of everything

If your son is aged 10-17 and you wish to bring him (Wednesday to Saturday only) he must either copy your dress code or wear a dark lounge suit with a shirt.

The only exceptions are serving military personnel who are welcome to wear service dress or equivalent, and international visitors who may wear the formal national dress of their country.

Given the company’s long-standing association with the Royal Family, it’s safe to think you will see many gentlemen donning the morning suits of Oliver Brown in this enclosure. The royal tailors are the perfect place to visit when aiming to dress to impress.

The Queen Anne Enclosure

Perfect views of the racing combined with a degree of dress formality make the Queen Anne Enclosure the preferred choice of many Ascot regulars.

The major visible difference from the Royal Enclosure is that top hats are not required here, although anyone is welcome to follow that enclosure’s dress code and certainly won’t look out of place.

Usual haunt: Ascot regulars tend to gravitate towards the Queen Anne Enclosure

Beyond that, male guests are required to wear a suit with jacket and trousers matching in colour and pattern with a shirt and tie which must be worn at all times. No cravats or bow ties. As is the case in all enclosures apart from the Windsor Enclosure, socks must be worn with shoes.

Within these parameters, it’s fine to express yourself. Classic Savile Row tailors such as Huntsman have a strong association with Royal Ascot, so expect to see many men dressed by them both here and in the Royal Enclosure. British menswear brand TM Lewin has also worked with Ascot Racecourse to bring out a collection of formalwear designed for racing’s summer season.

This relatively new and vibrant enclosure, the first for 100 years when it opened in 2017, caters for the racegoer who still likes to dress stylishly but would rather opt for a more contemporary sartorial style.

Naturally, gentlemen who wish to adhere to the dress code of the Queen Anne Enclosure are welcome to do so, but as a minimum requirement all male guests require a jacket, full-length trousers, collared shirt and tie.

Contemporary style: the Village Enclosure opened in 2017

Bow ties and cravats are not allowed and neither are jeans, trainers and shorts.

Expect to see younger professionals in this enclosure. If it’s not Savile Row, it might be formal wear from Paul Smith, Richard James or bright colours from Gieves & Hawkes that the gentlemen will be wearing to contribute to the lively atmosphere that’s backed by live music and sets from top DJs.

The Windsor Enclosure

The most relaxed of the four enclosures, it has a real sense of fun for all – reflected later in the week with some great live music.

Play it cool: the Windsor Enclosure has a more relaxed feel

The style guide reflects this more relaxed tone in that guests are encouraged to dress smartly, but there are few restrictions beyond the important one that no replica sports tops or fancy dress are permitted.

But this is Royal Ascot, so you will feel right at home looking your best.

Ascot dos and don’ts

Do respect the dress code. Staff are trained to interpret guidelines sensitively, but they have only so much room to manoeuvre. Be sure which enclosure you’re visiting and dress accordingly.

Staff are trained to interpret guidelines sensitively, but they only have so much room to manoeuvre

Do have a good time. Ascot describes the experience as “like nowhere else” and they’re right. The first day of the meeting is the highlight of the flat racing calendar, with three Group 1 races while the atmosphere throughout all five days is quintessentially British.

Do keep your shoes sensible. The going could be heavy underfoot – it is the British summer, after all – so make sure your shoes have been worn before and are sufficiently sturdy to keep out any moisture. Taking your shoes off at any point is not a good look.

Do let socks have the last word. You can, as the man said, have any colour you want – so long as it is grey or black.

A day at Royal Ascot

Ascot Racecourse has teamed up with the Telegraph to make sure our readers don’t miss out on Royal Ascot, the sporting and social highlight of the summer.

This five-day race meeting is like no other and takes place between Tuesday 18 and Saturday 22 June 2019.

To take advantage of early booking prices, book your tickets by 4th April at ascot.co.uk. Tickets start from £32. Further groups savings are available. Fine Dining starts from £269 + VAT.

Royal Ascot week is coming up… ( Picture: Dave Shopland/BPI/REX)

Royal Ascot 2019, aka one of the most lavish and looked-forward-to horse racing events of the year, is coming up fast.

Every year for over 100 years, high-up members of the Royal Family like The Queen and her son and heir Prince Charles attend Royal Ascot (the clue is in the name), and as such, this week of races causes quite a stir.

If you’re looking to get in on the fancy festivities, then look no further, because we’ve got what you need to know about when Royal Ascot starts this year, and how you can get tickets…

When does Royal Ascot 2019 start?

Royal Ascot starts in the third week of June every year.

This year, it will commence on Tuesday 18 June, and end on Saturday 22 June.

Can you still get tickets to Royal Ascot 2019?

Yes, tickets are still on sale for Royal Ascot 2019, with ticket prices starting at £37.

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At the time of writing, you can buy tickets for all of the Royal Ascot days from the Royal Ascot website

However, if you want to get your hands on some you’d better get a shift on, because the Windsor Enclosure and Village Enclosure tickets for Saturday, the closing day, have sold out – leaving only the £90 tickets for the Queen Anne Enclosure left.

MORE: Enough is enough, it’s time to ban horse races like the Grand National

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When

June 19-23 (0844 346 3000; ascot.co.uk).

The crowds at the Royal Ascot Credit: Getty

What

The perfect combination of fashion and horseflesh with prime royal spotting.

Royal Ascot offers “prime royal spotting” Credit: Alamy

Why

The fabulously glossy, five-day flat racing “Royal Meeting” on Ascot Heath, near Windsor, was established by Queen Anne in 1711. It’s famed for its modish racegoers: skirts below the knee at one end, knicker-grazing at the other, and bonkers hats all round. Yes, it’s OTT, yes, there’s a lot of fake tan and the odd scuffle between morning-coated chaps, but the Royal Meeting is confident, utterly English and has brilliant racing – eight Group One races this year. The Queen Anne Stakes and the Gold Cup (on Ladies’ Day, the Thursday) are highlights. Be aware that even in the Grandstand (now renamed the Queen Anne Enclosure) the veneer of elegance can slip after an afternoon’s drinking.

It’s bonkers hats all round Credit: 2017 Getty Images/Mike Hewitt

Don’t miss

The Royal Procession – the Queen and her castle guests in landaus, with liveried postilions and men in the crowd doffing their hats – starts the fun at 2pm daily.

The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh at Royal Ascot Credit: Getty

How and how much?

Entry to the Royal Enclosure takes planning – you need to be sponsored by two Members who have attended the Royal Meeting for at least four years – but anyone can get a ticket for the Queen Anne Enclosure (from £75) , Windsor Enclosure (from £37) or the new Village Enclosure, with pop up bars, food stalls and live music until 9pm (from £67; Thurs, Fri, Sat only). Tickets from tickets.ascot.co.uk.

Hop on the train from Waterloo or Clapham Junction, in full fig and quaffing Champagne as you go Credit: Getty

Getting there

Traffic is solid on race days, but if you want to drive, you can book parking for the best rates – from £35 per day in car park 8, which is a long walk from the grandstand but the only racecourse car park open to those with Grandstand or Silver Ring admission (ascot.co.uk/directions). Or, much more fun, hop on the train from Waterloo (50 minutes) or Clapham Junction (45 minutes), in full fig and quaffing Champagne as you go. See southwesternrailway.com – or, for general parking, en.parkopedia.co.uk/parking/stadium/royal-ascot-racecourse. Dedicated parking facilities are available for disabled customers displaying a Blue Badge but pre-booking is required on [email protected]

Tuesday is the best day for racing; Thursday for the hats Credit: Getty

Best days to go

Tuesday for the racing (three Group One races), Thursday for the hats and the Gold Cup, Britain’s longest Group One race – that’s why the racecourse insists on calling it Gold Cup Day and not Ladies’ Day.

Hats are compulsory in the Royal Enclosure, as is morning dress for men Credit: Getty

What to wear

No spaghetti straps (even under a pashmina), above-the-knee skirts or fascinators in the Royal Enclosure, where trousers must be full-length and hats are compulsory, as is morning dress for men. Smart casual with hats or fascinators in the Queen Anne (Grandstand) Enclosure and Village Enclosure, jackets for men. Dress up in the Windsor Enclosure (formerly the Silver Ring).

Telegraph tip

Ladies, take roll-up flat shoes for the slog home. There will be pain. They make you take the long return route to the station. Why?

Ladies, take roll-up shoes for the slog home Credit: Getty

Where to stay

Read our guide to the best hotels in Berkshire, where you can check availability for the race period and book at the lowest prices.

Other options?

It’s fashionable to say Ascot is far too big and you prefer the Qatar Goodwood Festival (goodwood.com), the Earl of March’s glamorous race week on the Sussex Downs, from July 31–August 4. Many do both.

YOUR COMPLETE GUIDE TO ROYAL ASCOT 2017

‘I’ve been going to Royal Ascot for many years and I know what works. It’s been an incredibly exciting project and I believe we have created pieces that will be worn by gentlemen for years to come. The collection comprises an elegant contemporary Melusine fur felt Top Hat; wool and silk single and double-breasted waistcoats; classic Jermyn Street cut shirts; woven and boxcloth braces; silk ties; and the finest cotton and cashmere socks.

There’s also Huntsman on Savile Row, which has a natural affinity with Royal Ascot, given the meeting’s very British nature and its reputation as a showcase for heritage flair. Head cutters Campbell Carey and Dario Carnera advise that you always wear trousers that are worn with braces as there is nothing worse than the sight of a shirt peeking out from the bottom of your waistcoat.

‘White collar and cuffs should always be worn with morning dress,’ they say. ‘And lastly, it should always be Oxfords, not Brogues!’

WHAT ABOUT The hat?

Lisa Tan, a contemporary milliner based in London, is a seasoned Royal Ascot racegoer and part of the Official Royal Ascot Millinery Collective.

‘If you have your outfit but not your hat, I would strongly recommend shopping with your outfit in tow,’ says Lisa. ‘Ask if you can use a changing room and put everything on together to get a better idea of how it will look. Be open-minded when selecting a hat – sometimes the style that you don’t think will work can often be the perfect choice.

‘When choosing your hat, colour is the easiest starting point, but you don’t necessarily have to match your outfit colour to your hat. If you’re struggling, it can sometimes be easier to wear a clashing colour and then incorporate other accessories in similar colours into your outfit.

‘The style and design also needs to be taken into account when creating a balanced look – for instance, if you have a full hemline, I would avoid smaller headpieces and go for something with a wider brim and shallower crown.

‘How a hat looks on you can change dramatically with different hair, make-up and of course clothing. Don’t be afraid to wear more make-up than you usually would – wearing a hat can be quite a dramatic, almost-theatrical occasion.’

WHO TO BACK?

Well, the jockey in the Millennial Pink shirt, obviously… But if your more serious about the horses you’re backing study the form, watch the odds and listen to whatever Clare Balding has to say. Gary Nutting, writing for attheraces.com, has taken a look at the forecast and predicted that good or softer ground could see Endless Drama prosper in the Queen Anne Stakes. For more general tips, browse the ukracingguide.co.uk.

Ticket prices

Tickets for Royal Ascot range from £37 to £88. Fine dining packages include champagne reception lunch, afternoon tea and car parking. Private Gazebos for groups of 15 are bookable from £1,000 plus ticket admission.

See ascot.co.uk or call 0844 346 3000

Royal Ascot Fashion 2017

HATS OFF: Royal Ascot — which wrapped on June 24 — is one of the highlights of the British summer social season. The five-day horse racing event at the Ascot Racecourse in Berkshire saw elegant racegoers don eye–catching hats.

Well-heeled ladies took to the racing grounds dressed in bold colors and prints with looks ranging from the elegant and understated to the creative and unique. Some wore simple and ladylike dresses with waists that were nipped in, while others went wild and more whimsical to match their ostentatious headpieces.

Toppers ranged from small, feathery fascinators to oversized statement millinery. Some hats were adorned with traditional elements such as florals and feathers, while others had whimsical touches including skulls, seahorses or spaghetti.

The racing event has a strict dress code, and this year amended their sartorial rules to include jumpsuits.

Per tradition, the royal family attended the first day. The Duchess of Cambridge wore a white lace Alexander McQueen dress. She joined the Duke of Cambridge to award the King’s Stand Stakes trophy to the jockey John Velazquez and his horse Lady Aurelia at the event.

Other royals in attendance that day included Queen Elizabeth, Prince Edward, the Duke of York, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, and Lord and Lady Fellowes.