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Discover celebrations fit for a king and queen: from the Household Cavalry to the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo or spotting Royals among a clutch of huge hats at the races at Royal Ascot. Marvel at a 700-year-old tradition, the Changing of the Guard, or feel the rhythm of the drums outside an ancient castle - no matter where royal ceremonies take you, expect to find the nation packed with places to get that regal fix.

Marching band and light show projecting onto the castle

Embark on a royal adventure, with daily ceremonies and annual events that leave the skies dazzling with fireworks and our cities alive with military parades. With a jam-packed calendar of events - some of them free, there’s something for every royal enthusiast on every budget to get stuck right in. 

Everything you need to know before attending Royal Ascot

Royal Ascot is five glorious June days of flat horse-racing in the Berkshire countryside, usually attended by royalty each year. Here’s our tips on everything from tickets to top hats.
Royal Ascot Race Meeting at the prestigious Ascot racecourse in Berkshire. Young woman wearing a large white hat with feather and floral detail. Chatting to a friend.

The Royal Procession

See the arrival of The Royal Family at 2pm on each day of Royal Ascot. The horse-drawn Royal carriages can be seen from all the enclosures as they arrive and circle the parade ring, before they enter Royal box at the top of the Grandstand.

Tickets

The Saturday and Ladies’ Day on the Thursday are the hottest tickets in town so book early to avoid disappointment. Enclosure upgrades and add-ons include access to private bars and fine dining packages.

Dress codes

Dress codes differ depending on your chosen enclosure. In the Royal Enclosure, men are required to wear a waistcoat and tie, a top hat and black shoes. Dresses worn by ladies must fall just above the knee or longer. Hats should be worn, but if a fascinator (a headpiece) is worn it must have a base greater than four inches. The Grandstand requires suits to be worn by men, and women to wear hats, while no formal dress code exists for the Silver Ring.

Dining options

Pack a picnic or book one of 18 restaurant packages, ranging from Michelin-starred food in the Royal Enclosure to The Villiers’ Club - a private garden at the heart of the Village Enclosure featuring live bands, sandwiches and sweet treats.

Travelling to Ascot Racecourse

Royal Ascot is less than a 10-minute walk from Ascot station. London Waterloo is under an hour away by train and Reading station is under 30 minutes away. By car, the village of Ascot is within 10 miles of the M4, M3 and M25 motorways.

The Changing of the Guard

  • What is it?

    The Changing of the Guard is a handover ceremony that has been taking place for over 700 years at Buckingham Palace, St James’s Palace, Windsor Castle and Wellington Barracks.

  • Who are the Guards?

    The Guards, recognisable by their parade uniform of red jackets and bearskin hats, are mainly infantry soldiers protecting the Royal Family, Buckingham Palace and St James’s Palace.

  • How many Guards are there?

    The number of guards can vary from three officers and between 31 and 40 soldiers.

  • What happens during the change over?

    The guard on duty at St James’ Palace is inspected at 11am and then marches, accompanied by drummers or a military band to Buckingham Palace. There, the guard on duty is also inspected before a New Guard regiment arrives from Wellington Barracks to takeover. Symbolically, the key to the palace is handed over from the Old Guard to the New Guard.

  • How often does this happen?

    The Changing of the Guard takes place daily at 11am from April to July, but only every other day in autumn and winter. It lasts for 45-minutes.

Royal Ceremonies to watch out for

Don’t miss the chance to see Britain’s royally ceremonial spectacles - they’re sure to make it a memorable day-out filled with pomp and pageantry.