It’s one of the biggest sporting events of the year, that’s as famous for the fashion as the fillies.
Royal Ascot has been staging one of the world’s top horse race meetings near to England’s Windsor Castle for centuries.
The Monarch has been attending since 1711 and racegoers have to adhere to a strict dress code that includes silk top hats, and dresses and skirts of a “modest length.”
Strict lockdown rules in Britain mean this year the crowds will have to stay at home next week, but organizers are inviting fans to dress up anyway for Ascot at Home.
Fans willing to don a fascinator, trilby, beanie or baseball hat are being asked to submit a selfie on social media as they watch the racing and make a donation to a coronavirus charity. The most glamorous, original or bizarre could win something from a range of prizes.
The #StyledWithThanks message is aimed at recognizing those working on the front line of the global COVID-19 crisis. Ascot has launched its appeal with a £100,000 donation. All money raised will be split between four frontline charities.
A spokesman said: “In light of the COVID-19 lockdown and in-line with government advice, Royal Ascot 2020 (Tuesday 16th to Saturday 20 June 2020) will take place behind closed doors for the first time in the event’s 250+ year history.”
Even Queen Elizabeth II, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, who have all attended previously, will have to watch remotely with the rest of the world.
While the guidelines have typically banned those wearing short skirts, strapless tops, and showing too much skin, this year’s Royal Ascot at Home will be an opportunity to break the rules.