Your Guide To Royal Ascot

Features | 17th June 2024

Every racing fan will be excited Royal Ascot is now just a few days away.

It is the most wonderful celebration of top-class racing and exquisite style, all wrapped up in one of the world’s iconic sporting venues.

Here’s five things you need to know about Royal Ascot.

The Key Races

There are eight Group 1 races spread over the five days of Royal Ascot.

The meeting starts on Tuesday with possibly the best two hours of racing anywhere in the world.

It all kicks off with the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes for the best milers.

The meeting’s top race for two-year-olds – the Group 2 Coventry Stakes – is the second race on the card, followed by the Group 1 King Charles III Stakes and the Group 1 St James’s Palace Stakes.

The Group 1 Prince Of Wales’s Stakes is the feature race on Wednesday. It’s supported three Group 2 contests and one of the biggest handicaps of the week, the Royal Hunt Cup.

The Group 1 Gold Cup – the season’s big prize for stayers – tops the bill on Ladies’ Day on Thursday.

Friday hosts two top-level contests. The Commonwealth Cup for three-year-old sprinters shares the spotlight with the Coronation Stakes.

The final day of the five-day spectacular has no less appeal. The Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes is the feature race, with the historic Wokingham handicap among the supporting contests.

What To Wear

Royal Ascot is world famous for its fashion.

No other sporting event places as much emphasis on style and tradition. Dressing up has become a big part of the fun of a day out at Ascot.

The dress code regarding the Royal Enclosure demands men wear a traditional morning suit complete with top hat, while lades have to comply with rules covering dress lengths and hat sizes.

It helps make Royal Ascot, by far, the most elegant sporting occasion.

Rules covering the other enclosures are nowhere near as strict.

The popular Queen Anne Enclosure still requires ladies to wear a dress or trouser suit, with hat or fascinator. Men should wear a suit, shirt and tie.

The dress codes for the Village and Windsor Enclosures are more relaxed.

The Royal Procession

One of the most spectacular sights of the week is the Royal Procession.

Every day before racing, The King and Queen, other members of the Royal Family and selected guests make their way down the full length of the Ascot straight course.

Well wishers line the track to watch the beautiful horse-drawn carriages – known as Ascot Landaus – continue their journey into the parade ring.

The famous Windsor Grey horses pull the carriages from Windsor Castle, where The King and Queen and their guests will have enjoyed lunch.

The National Anthem is played and the Royal Standard is raised to signify their arrival at the course.

The tradition was started by King George IV in around 1825 and has continued ever since to become one of the most anticipated events of a day at Royal Ascot.


A day at Royal Ascot isn’t just about the superb racing – far from it.

There are no end of things to see and do during the course of the day.

Depending on which enclosure you choose to enjoy the day in, there is plenty of entertainment during and after racing.

One of the not-to-be-missed events is the post-race sing along around the Ascot bandstand.

The Band of the Scots Guards will play a number of classics and everyone is urged to join in.

During the course of the week, there is also live music and after-racing parties hosted by DJs Toby Anstis and Dermot O’Leary.

England’s crucial football clash with Denmark in Euro 2024 will be shown live on big screens on Thursday.

It all makes for a magnificent summer celebration.


There are a number of ways to get you safely from your location into your chosen Royal Ascot enclosure.

While a chauffeur, private jet and helicopter might be beyond most visitors’ pockets, Ascot is handily placed for road and rail travel.

There is extensive car parking and lots of visitors to Ascot like to enjoy picnics out of the boot of their cars before and after racing.

Ascot has its own railway station with services heading from London Waterloo, Guildford and Reading. It’s just over a five-minute walk from the station to the track.