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Dress up for Royal Ascot

Updated: Jun 22, 2020

You can still dress up for Royal Ascot - even though the races will take place 'behind closed doors' - and make a valuable contribution to charities.

For the first time in its history, Royal Ascot will be taking place without its usual crowds, denying racegoers the chance to quaff Champagne with their friends and enjoy extravagant picnics. And, of course, the opportunity for men to don top hats, tails and the ladies to display beautifully coordinated formal wear. 

So, in a bid to imbue this year’s races - which will take place next week, from Tuesday to Saturday (16 - 20 June) - with a splash of the usual glamour, Ascot Racecourse has launched a new charitable campaign aimed at encouraging would-be attendees to dress up for the occasion at home. Don't forget to load the fridge with enough Champagne too!

Racing fans taking part will need to wear their favourite hat, then share a selfie on Instagram with the hashtags #StyledWithThanks and #RoyalAscot. Ascot hopes that many of you will think it's worth making the effort as the prizes for the most 'elegant, original and uplifting outfits' are rather enticing. These include tickets to Royal Ascot 2021, a Longines timepiece, an afternoon tea and tiara experience at Garrard, and a champagne lunch for two at top chef Jason Atherton’s Pollen Street Social restaurant.

Following the successful Run for Heroes money raising format earlier this year, participants will also be encouraged to nominate five friends to do the same, with each participant making a £5 donation to the campaign at Ascot: Styled with Thanks. Ascot has already chipped in £100,000 and all further funds raised will also go to: The National Emergencies Trust Relief Fund, NHS Charities Together, The Care Workers Charity and the Berkshire Community Foundation.

As Royal Ascot is akin to a milliner's Christmas season, Ascot has joined forces with the British Hat Guild, inviting a series of top milliners to design bespoke headpieces with the rainbow theme in mind. The resulting creations, designed by industry greats including Stephen Jones OBE, Lock & Co. Hatters and Rachel Trevor Morgan, will be auctioned online during Royal Ascot at the Millinery Auction, with all money raised going towards the charity fund.

So, open up your wardrobe, dig out your Ascot gear and start thinking about creating your best selfie!

Royal Ascot will be televised live on ITV and Sky, and the ITV website also has a live streaming option (as, of course, do most of the planet's major betting websites).

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