Royal Ascot 2023: Everything you need to know from horse racing to dress code

Credit: Ascot Racecourse

It's one of the most glamorous and prestigious horse racing events of the year.

Royal Ascot gets underway next week with five days of horse racing, eye catching hats and entertainment.

The event begins on Tuesday 20 June at the Berkshire course, with the last day of racing on Saturday 24 June. Doors open at 10:30am each day and the day finishes at 8pm.

Here's everything you need to know about Royal Ascot 2023.

Horse racing:

Around 500 horses will be running across the five day event.

There are a total of 35 races taking place, seven on each day with races at 2:30pm, 3:05pm, 3:40pm, 4:20pm, 5:00pm, 5:35pm and 6:10pm.

Prize money for the winners totals more than £7.3 million.

There are two races worth £1 million for the winner - The Prince of Wales's Stakes on Wednesday 21 June at 4:20pm and the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes on Saturday 24 June at 4:20pm.

Gold Cup Day-

More commonly known by racegoers as 'Ladies' Day', Gold Cup day is held on the third day of Royal Ascot, this year on Thursday 22 June.

The famous Gold Cup race which is held at 4:20pm sees £600,000 prize money for the winner.

King Charles and the Queen Consort taking part in the carriage procession at Royal Ascot in 2022. Credit: PA

Royal Procession:

The Royal Procession is an iconic part of Royal Ascot, and traditionally takes place at 2pm each day, before the first race begins at 2:30pm.

Up until last year, The Queen and accompanying Members of the Royal Family arrive along the track in horse-drawn landaus, before spending the day watching the races from the Royal Enclosure. 

This year will be the first for King Charles III.

It's not yet known what days his Royal Highness will attend Royal Ascot, and which other members of the Royal family will accompany him.

Dress code:

Royal Ascot is known for its strict dress code. Depending on which enclosure you are visiting, will have a big impact on what you're allowed to wear.

Royal Enclosure-

Excluding the Royal Stand, the Royal Enclosure is the most exclusive area, reserved for Royalty and other high profile figures.

To enter the Royal Enclosure, you must be a member, and to become a member it is invitation-only.

The dress code for this area is particularly formal. Men must be dressed in morning suits, in either black, grey or navy, and include a waistcoat and necktie and they must wear a top hat.

For women in the enclosure, a hat is a requirement, though head pieces and fascinators are allowed as long as they measure four inches in diameter. Woman are allowed to wear trouser suits, but they must be matching colour and material.

Queen Anne Enclosure-

Men must wear a full-length two or three-piece suit, a collared shirt and tie, and socks must cover the ankles.

For the ladies, hats or fascinators must still be worn and no strapless dresses or off the shoulder dresses are allowed.

Village Enclosure-

In the Village Enclosure men are required to wear a suit jacket or blazer, but it can be of different material to the trousers.

A dress or top and skirt, with shoulder or halter neck straps are allowed for women and in this enclosure lace and chiffon fabrics are also allowed.

One of the colourful headpieces on display at Royal Ascot 2022. Credit: PA

Travelling to Ascot:

There are a number of car parks for those travelling by car on the day, though drivers are warned to purchase parking in advance and due to the high numbers of racegoers - to leave extra time for journeys.

For those travelling to race days by train, Ascot Racecourse is a seven minute walk from the railway station.

South Western Railway runs regular trains to Ascot from Reading, Guildford and London Waterloo.

Can I take my own food and drink?

Racegoers in the Royal Enclosure, Queen Anne Enclosure and Village Enclosure are not allowed to bring their own food and drink.

However, you are allowed to enjoy a picnic in car and coach parks.

For others, you are allowed to bring your own food and drink to have in the Windsor and Heath Enclosures only.

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