There’s something extra exciting about the arrival of Royal Ascot every year. Not only is it the royal family’s favourite annual event, it’s a hugely popular horse racing event for many others, too.
Of course, 2020 see’s a change to the event this year, in which opening it up to the public has been cancelled due to COVID-19. But although Royal Ascot 2020 will not be officially be letting people turn up and experience the event at the actual grounds, for public health and safety reasons, the event will be ran behind closed doors on Tuesday 16 to Saturday 20 June.
So this time, there may be no Queenie or the Duchess of Cornwall in physical attendance, but we can possibly except the royals to be dressed up at home, ready to take on a virtual celebration this time around.
So, for those of you who love horse racing and the Royal Ascot event in particular, there’s still an opportunity to celebrate racing season and attempt to join in from the comfort of your own home. I mean, everyone has had to adapt to living a virtual life these days, so surely by now, we’ve all becoming quite the professional at it!
How to celebrate Royal Ascot Virtually
The dates will span between Tuesday June 16 until Saturday June 20, in which subject to government approval, this particular horse racing event will be held behind closed doors. This means you can still get together with anyone who lives in your home to celebrate, or, have your best friend or parents/siblings to socially distance in your garden with you, ready to have some horse racing inspired fun in your own adobe!
Can we watch it on TV?
Yes! All the Royal Ascot races will be shown live on Sky Sports Racing, but if you don’t have sky, you’ll be able to catch race two onwards and race three onwards (on Saturday) on ITV.
I suspect most people across the UK will be tuning in to ITV on Day Two and Day Three to be catching up on the events, such as The Gold Cup on Day 3. Don’t forget there will be plenty of resources online to help you stay on track with what’s going on, so you don’t have to miss any betting action! Online you can get Royal Ascot 2020 Day 3 Tips and all the results in case you miss out on any of the action…
What money can be won?
This year you can expect to see the total prize money being halved from the figure it sat at last year, which was a record £7.3 million. This Summer it will be £3.68 million.
Originally there had been discussions of around a £1m prize for the winner of the Prince of Wales’s Stakes and the Diamond Jubilee Stakes. However, due to the pandemic, it has lead to a tightening up of prize money which is understandable.
How many races can we expect?
Just because ths year will be minus actual crowds, you can still expect a fantastic programme! Up to now it is planned to have 36 races over five datys.
There will be a number of amendments this year too, such as the Buckingham Palace Handicap will open up the event, which had been lost from the card when the Commonwealth Cup was introduced in 2015.
If you’re keen to be putting on bets ‘remotely’ from your own home, it could be worth taking some time to read up on The Latest Tips on Today’s Races and browse the race cards so you’re fully clued up in advance.
How can we celebrate at home?
So the usual Royal Ascot would see an array of chefs serving fresh food, lobsters, crabs and steaks being rustled up, finger sandwich selections on offer, scones with clotted cream to pick up, and tea served in teacups available to drink throughout. Not to forgot all the champagne on offer, too!
You might not be booking your limousine this year to rock up in your fancy attire for a day of luxury at the Ascot racecourse, but you can bring the event home. If you can set up a little garden party with those in your home, or a couple of people socially distancing in your garden, you can make it a real British outdoor event.
All you need is a TV close by to watch the races live, with a good sound system so you can hear the commentator. You can have jugs of pimms and lemonade on offer, along with your best china (or just your best mugs!) for serving English breakfast tea through pretty teapots.
If you don’t want to mimic the steak, lobsters and crabs food offering, why not re-create typical British Afternoon Tea setups, with finger sandwiches, scones with clotted cream, and a number of scrummy cakes to tuck into?
Next up, make sure you have ample decorations up! Stay true to heritage by putting up some red, white and blue bunting around the garden or the patio doors to portray a quintessentially British occasion. Don’t be afraid to get a little creative with your garden blooms, too! If you can arrange some beautiful flowers to match the red, white and blue theme, that would go down a treat! And of course, keep a bottle or two of champagne chilled in the fridge to pour into your best champagne glasses.
Dress for the occasion
Just because you’re still in your own home (I know, we’ve been at our homes solidly for over three months…) doesn’t mean you can’t go all out. Pull out your special dress and a pair of heels (perhaps lower ones if you’re only going to and from the garden and kitchen!) and make it feel like a special outing. If you and your Royal Ascot chums are all dressed in your prettiest outfits, you can certainly bring that ‘races’ fashion vibe to your house.
Just because one of the biggest racing events won’t be opening it’s doors to the crowds this year, there’s no reason not to go all out and celebrate at home. Royal Ascot is the perfect occasion to really get into the spirit of British Summer, where you can join in one the season’s most celebrated occasions from afar.
This post is a collaborative post.