A glamorous guide to Royal Ascot 2024: Highnesses, horses and hats

A glamorous guide to Royal Ascot 2024: Highnesses, horses and hats



The 300-year-old event welcomes royals from the UK to the UAE.

Every summer, the horse racing world sets its sights on Berkshire and the prestigious Royal Ascot. The charming town is transformed with competitions, couture and celebrities. The iconic event is not just about horse racing; it's a dazzling display of pomp and pageantry. With its rich history dating back three hundred years, it is a must-attend event for horse enthusiasts, socialites and royals, from the United Kingdom to the United Arab Emirates. Running from 18 to 22 June 2024, here is FACT’s glorious guide to Royal Ascot 2024.

Royal Ascot 2024

Royal Ascot history

Royal Ascot began in 1711 when Queen Anne rode into the area and found the heath. Located approximately 50 minutes from London, she declared: “It is ideal for horses to gallop at full stretch”. The first race was called Her Majesty’s Plate, and it took place on 11 August 1711. The course ran for four miles with three heats, and the winner was awarded 100 guineas. 

The Royal Procession dates back to 1825, and King George IV started the tradition. Across the event, the procession took place at 2pm each day. Queen Elizabeth II was a long-standing patron of Royal Ascot, and she only missed the event once during her 70-year reign. She has owned 22 winners of races, and her horse, Estimate, won a Gold Cup.

Royal Ascot attracts A-list celebrities and Royal Family members. Over the years, British monarchs and GCC monarchs have bonded over a mutual love of horses. Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, is a firm fan. In 2019, Godolphin’s Blue Point won the Diamond Jubilee Stakes, and Queen Elizabeth II presented Sheikh Mohammed with a trophy.

Royal Ascot 2024

Royal Ascot dress code

Royal Ascot impresses with its tops, tails and tradition. In the early 19th century, a dress code was implemented. Beau Brummel, a close friend of the Prince Regent, stated that men should wear black coats and white cravats with pantaloons. Rumour has it took him five hours a day to dress, and he would clean his shoes with Champagne.

Times may have changed, but the dress code remains refined. Culottes and jumpsuits are allowed, but ankle socks are a no-no. Each enclosure adheres to a different dress code: the Village Enclosure and Window Enclosure are more relaxed, and the Queen Anne and Royal Enclosure are stricter. 

The Royal Enclosure welcomes the Royal Family. For men, morning suits are mandatory, with a waistcoat, tie, black shoes, and a top hat. Suits must be black, grey, or navy, and bow ties and cravats are not allowed. For women, dresses or skirts must at least fall below the knee, and halter-neck dresses, strapless, one-shouldered, spaghetti straps, and sheer fabrics are not permitted.

Royal Ascot 2024

Royal Ascot 2024

At the heart of Royal Ascot is the horse racing, which attracts the finest horses, jockeys and trainers from around the world. The event’s prize money is worth £10 million, and no race will be run for less than £110,000. Races include the Gold Cup, Diamond Jubilee Stakes and Queen Anne Stakes, and King Charles III Stakes, which was previously King’s Stand Stakes.

Nick Smith, Director of Racing and Public Affairs at Ascot Racecourse, explained: “Whilst the main increases have been made to the Royal Meeting to enable us to get to £10 million for the first time, we have made increases in other areas of the programme as well. These include increases to fit with the new Premier fixture structure, including at the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup, where there is a particular focus on maintaining full fields.”

Royal Ascot 2024

In 2024, Royal Ascot announced its first Creative Director, the British fashion designer, Daniel Fletcher. With the creation of the first annual Lookbook and Millinery Collective, he aims to inspire racegoers. Daniel added: “I’m keen to encapsulate the rich heritage of the racecourse while embracing the unique dress codes, adding a contemporary twist to bring a flair that Ascot hasn’t seen before.”

Tickets for Royal Ascot 2024 are available now. Windsor Enclosure starts from £49, Village Enclosure starts from £85, and Queen Anna Enclosure starts from £90.

GO: Visit www.ascot.com for more information.