Royal Ascot is going ahead as a much smaller affair this year. Normally, 80,000 tickets would be issued, but for 2021, from 15 to 19 June, there are just 12,000 issued. So, if you have been lucky enough to get a ticket, make sure you have a wonderful hat.
The racecourse was founded by Queen Anne in 1707 and is only six miles as the crow flies from Windsor Castle. Several races are run here annually, but the most famous is Royal Ascot that takes place in June. The Queen takes a keen interest in racing and has not missed the June meeting since her coronation. She presents the Gold Cup, which is a major highlight of the week and takes place on Thursday, on the Ladies Day. The course is a challenging two-and-a-half miles long and only the best horses get to compete.
Each day, the Royal Procession begins at 2pm when the Queen and other members of the royal family are driven down the mile, accompanied by the national anthem.
The Royal Enclosure is the one with the strictest dress code, for both men and women. Men have to wear morning dress with top hat; women wear formal dress with a full hat.
A trend and style update from a top milliner
Large brims are in this year, according to Mary Spiteri of Tifertat Hats, Richmond. “Small cocktail hats and saucer styles are taking a back seat. Especially for Ascot, which is very formal and grand, women want a hat to match. Large brims suit most people and in any way are more elegant and fun.” Although many women like the fitted look for their outfit, Mary has noticed a move towards “floaty dresses, that are really romantic and suit the floppiness of a large hat.”
As far as colours are concerned, Mary suggests you might like to complement your outfit rather than have a sharp contrast. “Women think that with a lime green outfit, they need to wear a navy hat, but actually, a different shade of green could work better.” Mary has many hats in stock and if you don’t care for the decorations, she can change them. “People are surprised that I can swap the flowers or add a coloured band to tone in with their outfit. Remember I’m a milliner and so I can make adjustments, so your hat is perfect for you.”
Most of us will have to be content with watching Royal Ascot on the television, but if you have a ticket, don’t forget your hat. And remember that although Royal Ascot is going to be smaller this year the hats are not, the trend is for bigger hats.
You can get in touch with Mary by visiting her at 5 Paved Court, Richmond TW9 1LZ
or calling +44 20 8332 1189
You may also enjoy reading https://darlingmagazine.co.uk/our-stories/celebrate-at-home-for-royal-ascot/