It’s been an unusual summer so far to say the least, with big events, festivals, concerts and gatherings postponed until 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
But while the events landscape may look very different this year, that’s not to say that organisers haven’t done a sterling job in offering an at-home alternative - and Royal Ascot is no exception.
The biggest horse racing event of the year - and undoubtably the best place for royal-spotting - cumulates with Saturday’s race meeting. This is the first time in Royal Ascot's 250+ year history that the sporting event has taken place behind closed doors.
Butwhile spectators aren’t invited in person to visit Royal Ascot, the races are still live streaming all week - and there are plenty of ways to get involved at home.
Royal Ascot live streaming: where to watch Royal Ascot at Home
Royal Ascot At Home will be available to view on ITV Racing and Sky Sports Racing from Tuesday 16th to Saturday 20th June 2020.
All races from all days will be available on Sky Sports Racing.
ITV1 will broadcast from Ascot from 1:30pm each day (race two onwards and race three onwards on Saturday).
What time are the races on at Royal Ascot 2020?
Racing will begin at 1.15pm Tuesday to Friday and 12.40pm on Saturday, with the final race at 4.40pm.
How can you celebrate Royal Ascot in lockdown?
There are loads of resources on the Royal Ascot at Home hub, to help get you started. When it comes to enjoying a day at the races there are three vital ingredients - the outfit, the decor and the food (and champagne, of course!)
Racing enthusiasts aren't letting a little thing like social distancing get in the way of getting dressed up for the big event.
Throughout this week, people have been posting their outfits on Instagram with #StyledWithThanks. Ascot has invited fans across the globe to dress up and wear a hat as part of the racecourse’s wider RoyalAscot At Home campaign before sharing a photo on social media using the campaign hashtags #StyledWithThanks and #RoyalAscot.
All participants are being encouraged to donate £5 to the campaign fundraising page and prizes will be given for the most Elegant, Original and Uplifting outfits across the week with a panel of expert industry judges, including Stephen Jones and Caroline Rush of the British Fashion Council, selecting the winners.
Royal racing enthusiast Zara Tindall has also been getting involved with husband Mike, her stylist Annie Miall posting a picture of the couple dressed up to the nines on Instagram.
Annie captioned the picture, 'Day 1 of Royal Ascot and Zara and Mike Tindall are all dressed up ready for their ‘at home’ interview with@itvracingdiscussing all things@ascotracecourse 🏇 Zara looking so stunning in a bespoke@juliettemillineryhat paired with a beautiful@beulahlondondress and@emmylondonofficialshoes 🥂#styledwiththanks🌈#royalascot#millinery#britishbrand#fashion#stylist#racingstyle'
woman&home reader Hazel Morfitt is looking forward to getting dressed up on Saturday, though for the first time in her race-going history, she won't be wearing a new dress for the event.
"Normally I would have bought something new and had a trip to London booked with my sister Viv to do just that, but this was the day before lockdown, so in the end it was cancelled and I've nothing new to wear," she told w&h. "Whatever I do wear though will be accompanied by a hat! Carl, my husband, is getting his top hat out for Saturday too."
Roses are the flower of choice for Royal Ascot. "The Queen Anne Rose was named to celebrate the tercentenary of Ascot Racecourse, which was founded by Queen Anne in 1711. This beautiful rose is planted all along the track, in front of the Grandstand, and around the south side of the Parade Ring," said head gardener Jeremy Lockwood.
If you'd like to get into the spirit of things by planting some hanging baskets, the vessel of choice for Royal Ascot blooms, Jeremy has devised a special guide for how to plant hanging and wall-mounted baskets.
Of course planting takes time - so in the mean time why not treat yourself to a beautiful rose bouquet to display in the house tomorrow. Check out our guide to the best flower delivery services - with florists like Bloom & Wild offering free next-day delivery.
You can also download a children's activity pack, which we think looks pretty entertaining for adults too. In this you'll find resources for making a DIY top hat and floral paper hat, as well as plenty of quiz ideas.
The food and drink
You can find a wealth of recipes on the Royal Ascot At Home hub, with tips on how to recreate signature Ascot dishes such as Raymond Blanc OBE's Confit of Salmon, James Tanner's Sea bass and Gnocchi or Eric Lanlard's Rum Cake. There are also plenty of cocktail ideas...
If you want to keep things simple, champagne and afternoon tea is always a winning combination.
w&h reader Hazel will be opting for this option. "I’ve ordered a Royal Ascot Afternoon tea which is arriving on Friday so the plan (weather permitting) is to set our portable picnic table up in the garden and have this with some champagne whilst watching the racing live.We’ll also be having on online flutter or two.
"When is comes to gambling, I say don’t listen to tips and pick your own, whether because you like the name, colours or the jockey as I normally find this works best for me.
Lauren is deputy editor at woman&home.com in the UK and became a journalist mainly because she enjoys being nosy. With a background in features journalism, Lauren has worked on the woman&home brand for four years. Before woman&home Lauren worked across a variety of women's lifestyle titles, including GoodTo, Woman's Own, and Woman magazine. After starting out working for a local paper in Yorkshire, her journalism career took her to Bristol where she hunted out stories for national papers and magazines at Medavia news agency, before landing a job in London working as a lifestyle assistant.
Lauren loves helping people share their stories, bringing experiences to life online, honing her interview techniques with everyone from authors to celebrities, headteachers to local heroes. As well as having a good nose for a story, Lauren has a passion for the English language and years of experience optimizing digital content to reach the widest audience possible. During her time at w&h, Lauren has worked on big brand campaigns like the Amazing Women Awards and assisted in developing w&h expert-approved Buyer's Guides—the place to go if you're looking to splash out on an important purchase and want some trusted advice. In addition to her journalism career, Lauren also has a background in copywriting for prestigious brands such as Inhabit Hotel, eco-development K'in in Tulum, social enterprise The Goldfinger Factory and leading London architect Holland Harvey, using language in all its glorious forms, from detailed guidebooks to snappy social content.
A big fan of adventure, Lauren is also a keen travel writer and loves sharing tips on where to find the best places to eat, drink, and be merry off the beaten track. Lauren has written a series of travel guides for London hotels and loves sharing her insights into a destination's cultural and culinary offerings. If you need a recommendation on any UK destination, she's more than happy to help. At the weekend, you'll usually find her hanging out with her pet cat (or anyone else's pet she can get her hands on), escaping to the countryside, or devouring a good book.
Follow her adventures @laurenkatehughes
LinkedIn: Lauren Kate Hughes
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