Royal Ascot and More

There’s hardly another sporting event where the dress code for spectators is so strict, so make sure you know your dos and don’ts before you visit Royal Ascot (19-23 June). The dress code depends on which section your ticket is for. Inside the Royal Enclosure, the strictest of them all, it’s all about grey or black morning suits for the chaps, crowned by top hats; for the ladies, hemlines must be on or below the knee, hats should be worn, and spaghetti straps, Bardot necklines and fascinators are forbidden. If you’re in the Village or Windsor enclosure however, standards of dress are relatively relaxed. Pageantry includes a daily royal procession, where the Queen and other members of the royal family arrive in horse-drawn carriages, and singing around the bandstand to close each day. The world-class flat racing attracts millions of viewers. With 30 races across five days and with this year’s prize money exceeding £4million, all race aficionados’ eyes are on the three most important races: the Diamond Jubilee Stakes, the Queen Anne Stakes and the Gold Cup. The Queen, an equestrian and owner of previous winners, will surely keep a close eye on proceedings.

There are more thundering hooves and cheering crowds at Chestertons Polo in the Park (8-10 June). Taking place at the prestigious Hurlingham Club in Fulham, this fast and furious sport sees six top teams from around the world play a tweaked version of polo, promising a faster and more compact game. The highlight of the three-day event is the ICM Capital International Match (8 June), which sees the England polo team take on the Irish team, captained by the Earl of Tyrone.

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