Royal Ascot At Home will see the famous Royal Ascot race meeting televised as it takes place behind closed doors from 16-20 June 2020. Giving households around the world the chance to enjoy the thrill of this very British five-day racing event on the small screen, you can also take part in the traditional show-stopping dress code! Royal Ascot is inviting everyone to don brightly colours dresses, flamboyant hats and your very best suits in order to take part in one of festival’s most glamourous traditions at home.
You can then share your stylish ensembles with audiences across social media using the hashtag #StyledWithThanks. For each post, Royal Ascot is encouraging a donation of £5, with the money going to support frontline workers that have been key in the fight against COVID-19, as well as those affected by the pandemic.
Hosting a jam-packed race schedule for 2020, Royal Ascot will feature 36 races over five days, adding an extra six nail-biting races to the regular mix. Another exciting addition to this year’s calendar is the opening race, which sees the return of the Buckingham Palace Handicap after a five-year break. The Queen has consented to a number of temporary names for the additional races, including the Copper Horse Handicap, named after the statue of a mounted King George III that marks the end of the Long Walk in Windsor Great Park.
In the UK, all races will be shown on Sky Sports Racing, alongside extensive coverage on ITV, which will show race two onwards (race three onwards on Saturday) on each day. Globally, the event will be broadcast in around 200 countries and will be available to more than 650 million households.
As a sport, modern horse racing in Britain can be traced back to the 1100s, when Arab stallions were first brought to the country by English Knights returning from the Crusades. In the centuries that followed, these elegant creatures were bred with native horses, creating the thoroughbreds seen galloping on racecourses to this day.
Ascot Racecourse meanwhile was established over 300 years ago by horse-race super fan Queen Anne, and has received the patronage of another eleven monarchs since. The summer race meeting was given a Royal title in 1911 and it has since grown into one of the most anticipated sporting events of the year, renowned for mixing sartorial elegance with heritage, gallantry and tradition. While the crowds will be absent this year, it’s easy to imagine the packed main stand – redeveloped between 2004 and 2006 as part of a multi-million-pound effort to transform it into the best racecourse in the world. With five days of top quality events, Royal Ascot is the pinnacle of the British horse racing calendar and the nation’s most valuable horse racing meeting, with millions of pounds of prize money up for grabs.
Although this will be the first Royal Ascot not attended by the Queen throughout her 68-year reign, each race day is traditionally started in truly regal fashion, as Her Royal Highness, and other members of the Royal Family, arrive along the track in horse-drawn landaus. This Royal Procession has signalled the start of the royal meeting since 1825, when King George IV led four other coaches with members of the Royal Family up the straight mile part of the course.
But it’s not just about Ascot. With racecourses across the country offering Racing At Home events for 2020, if you're a fan of the sport you can look forward to an action-packed calendar to enjoy behind closed doors. For full information on upcoming events, visit The Jockey Club.