A beginner’s guide to attending Royal Ascot

Royal Ascot, held every year in June at the Ascot Racecourse in Berkshire, is one of horse racing’s most prestigious and well-known events. The Queen herself – a keen horse lover – attends annually in a horse-drawn carriage accompanied by other members of the Royal Family.

If you’re going to be taking in Royal Ascot for the first time in 2018, then here’s a quick guide to help you prepare.

Securing a ticket
Tickets for the 2018 event will go on sale on the official Royal Ascot website in September, but you’ll have to be quick off the mark, as they sell out in no time at all. Public tickets are for the Queen Anne, Windsor and Village Enclosures and are reasonably priced, at £75, £37 and £67 respectively as of 2017. If you’re interested in entry to the Royal Enclosure, then unfortunately, you’ll have to attend the last four meetings and be sponsored by two members.

Dress code
When the day finally arrives, you’ll need to look your best. Unlike some other racecourses, Ascot prides itself on “sartorial elegance,” with the style guide on its website extending to 13 pages. If you’re a woman, then you should know that skirts above the knee, spaghetti straps and fascinators are forbidden in the Royal Enclosure, where full-length trousers and hats are compulsory. In the Queen Anne and Village Enclosures, smart casual attire is encouraged for women and jackets for men. You should dress up if you are in the Windsor Enclosure. Hats are required for all enclosures.

Make way for Her Majesty
The main draw of Royal Ascot is the fact that Her Majesty the Queen will be in attendance. Elizabeth II has never missed the event during her 64 years on the throne – in 2017, she didn’t even let an appointment at Parliament get in her way!

Each day, a Royal Procession, featuring the Queen and her castle guests in a landau carriage, gets things underway at 2pm.

Making a bet
For many, one of the main attractions of horse racing comes from the opportunity to make money. Licensed bookmakers can be found in abundance across the racecourse, and even if you’re not a gambler yourself, you should put together a small budget to allow you to place some money on the horses. The minimum bet on a race when placed at the racecourse is £2 – why not have a couple of quid on which dress the Queen is going to be wearing this year? This is always a popular bet with punters.

Of course, if you do want to concentrate on watching some high-quality racing and sampling the sophisticated atmosphere, then you can always place your bets prior to the day. Horse racing betting sites UK wide offer plenty of markets on horse racing, and you can check your progress on your phone throughout the day if you decide to bet in this manner.

Now that you’ve read this Royal Ascot guide, you can start preparing to rub shoulders with the Royals and enjoy some horse racing next year!

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