Royal Ascot Etiquette Grandstand
I’ve been to Royal Ascot on Ladies Day for several years with my mum. We go every year to enjoy this very special day out full of fashion, pimms and gambling. However, every year I also find myself looking round to see that some people clearly didn’t get the memo that this is a Royal event, and therefore certain standards should be adhered to. I’m absolutely not a snob; I’ve from a small village in Derbyshire and have a very normal job with a normal wage, but sometimes I think it’s good to have standards and stick to them. This is Ladies Day after all!
These Royal Ascot Etiquette Grandstand rules are rather specific to the Grandstand. The Royal Enclosure has very tight rules on clothing and is usually by invitation only. Whereas the Silver Ring is a lot more laid back with a lot less to do and see. Personally, I think it’s worth spending more money to go in the Grandstand because there’s so many eateries and champagne bars, chances to see the horses up close before they go out on to the course, chance to see the Queen and other Royals up close and also a chance to rub shoulders with the jockeys so, for me, if you can get tickets to the Grandstand it’s more than worth it.
The following rules are just from my own observations and I hope, useful for first time Royal Ascot attendees!
Get Creative With Your Hat – you might never get chance to wear such a flamboyant hat and not look out of place!
They first year I went to Ascot I thought my hat was a little bit out there… it totally wasn’t. There were people walking round with full peacocks on their heads, umbrella hats, hats that wouldn’t fit through the doors… when are you ever going to get chance to go that mental with a hat ever again? Probably never. So go for it! Below are a few of the hats I’ve worn over the years. It should also be noted that hats have to be worn in the Grandstand area, so if you can’t beat them…
2. Wear comfy shoes!
I made this mistake the first year… never again! You have to walk quite a way to the entrance to the Grandstand so walking that 15-20 minute walk in uncomfy shoes is not fun and does put a bit of a damper on the rest of the day if you’ve got blisters by 12pm!If you insist on wearing those beautiful but uncomfortable shoes remember to put in a pair of fold up flats in your purse!
3. Choose a bag with a strap
Clutch bags look great in a photo but when you’re trying to sort out your racing slips, race card, champagne and walk at the same time… it’s not really very practical. Personally I find bags with long straps the most helpful as you can just swing them around your shoulder and waist and you’ve got both hands free for more drinks!
4. Think about your dress
It’s Royal Ascot so I think certain rules should be adhered to when it comes to dresses. I like something that reaches the knees or just above and something that’s fitted but doesn’t show every lump and bump, we don’t need skin tight ensembles. Also straps should be worn which I believe is a dress code request for the Grandstand; it certainly is for the Royal Enclosure. Keep classy and wear something suitable for the occasion.
5. Buy a Race Card
These are usually available for around £5 on your way in; they’re a beige coloured booklet with all the jockeys, horses, trainers and owners listed, so you can make an ‘educated’ bet. If you don’t like looking at all that stuff and you want to just bet on a name, that’s cool too, but I would still recommend a race card as they are a great memento of the day!
6. Take an umbrella or a shawl
I sound like your Grandma, I know, but because it is so busy if it does rain, you need something with you so you don’t miss all the action. An umbrella or a shawl is the perfect way to make sure you don’t get rained out of the action.
Apart from those tips, my TOP tip would be to just have a fantastic time. Drink your champagne in the sun and enjoy everything the day has to offer because it is a truly unique day.
If you are going this year, or want some more pointers, please feel free to ask my questions! I’m currently planning my hat for this year which is going to be peacock inspired… stay tuned for some posts about making the beast 😉