Royal Ascot (Ascot was originally called East Cote), dating back to 1711, is the world?s most famous race meeting. Arriving each day in a horse-drawn carriage, the royal family are a regular head turner with Zara Phillips looking particularly elegant this year. The media often spend more time covering the couture of attendees at this major event in the British social calendar.
The dress code for the Royal Enclosure is very strict? ladies cannot show bare midriffs or shoulders and they must wear hats whilst their male partners need to wear full morning dress which includes a top hat. In recent years several unfortunates have found themselves ejected for less than appropriate attire. Many people choose to wear formal dress outside the Royal Enclosure though this is not obligatory. In the past to be admitted to the Royal Enclosure ?one? needed to be either a guest of a member or be sponsored for membership by a member who has attended on at least four times. Controversially, in 2007, day passes were issued for the Royal Enclosure with hospitality packages ? so get saving girls!
Probably, the most popular part of Royal Ascot are the numerous women dressed in their finery and displaying the most gorgeous and eye catching of hats. Like a flock of Birds of Paradise they meander through the crowds champagne in one hand, the press in pursuit, and gloriously oblivious to all of that high class horse racing going on in the background. A most popular and agreeable part of the English year. With over 300,000 people making the trip to Berkshire during Royal Ascot week, it is Europe?s best-attended race meeting.
The Ascot Gold Cup is held on Ladies' Day and there is over £3,000,000 of prize money on offer. Not bad for a day at the races!