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British Culture, British Customs and British Traditions

Royal Ascot

Horse Race

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This section is in advanced English and is only intended to be a guide, not to be taken too seriously!

Royal Ascot is one of the most spectacular race-meetings in the world, it has been held for nearly 300 years since 1711 during the reign of Queen Anne. For just four days each year the aristrocracy, sports celebrities and fashion gurus of England hobnob in grand style at one of the highlights of their social calendar. It is called Royal Ascot because the Royal family attend every year and I believe the land is actually owned by The Crown.

Royal Ascot is more than just your run of the mill horse race, it is a place to see and be seen, everbody seems to be wearing designer outfits and spectacular hats, especially on the highly popular Gold Cup Day, which is better known as "Ladies Day".

There are "dress codes", which say no trainers, bare chests, fancy dress costumes, and that ladies' skirts should be of a 'modest' length, (no more than an inch above the knee), but some people openly defy the rules, which means the news coverage and the TV commentary is just as likely to be about what Lady so and so is wearing as it is to be about who won the 4:30!

One thing to remember is that if you do attend make sure you don't lose your shirt!

Interesting Links

The Official Ascot web site.

Typical press coverage.

British Culture