This week we should all be gearing up for Royal Ascot with our chef team of 358 chefs preparing to entertain 34,000 guests across our fine dining and hospitality outlets at the racecourse serving 35,000 spears of English asparagus, 8,000 Cornish crabs, 10,000 British steaks and 1,200kg of Cornish clotted cream, alongside 240,000 hand-crafted afternoon tea cakes, 110,000 cups of tea and more than a quarter of a million finger sandwiches!
This year, as with so many other summer sporting occasions, it will be somewhat different with Royal Ascot taking place behind closed doors for the first time in the event’s history.
Despite this there is a whole programme of activity taking place that we can all get involved in. Ascot has launched its #StyledWithThanks charity appeal bringing millinery and fashion worlds together with a £100,000 donation in support of The National Emergencies Trust Relief Fund, NHS Charities Together, The Care Workers Charity and the Berkshire Community Foundation Coronavirus Fund.
Racegoers will still be able to enjoy the racing action live on ITV and Sky Sports Racing and participate in what is traditionally recognised as the fashion event of the season. Ascot is inviting fans across the globe to dress up as part of the racecourse’s wider ‘Royal Ascot At Home’ campaign, and wear a hat – whether it is a ladies’ hat or a men’s top hat, panama, trilby or other racing hat – before sharing a photo on social media using the campaign hashtags #StyledWithThanks and #RoyalAscot.
Participants are being encouraged to donate £5 to the campaign fundraising page, share their outfit photo and tell their friends to do the same, helping to spread the #StyledWithThanks message in recognition of those working on the frontline of the global Covid-19 crisis.
Prizes will be given for the most Elegant, Original and Uplifting outfits across the week with a panel of fashion industry judges selecting the winners. Prizes include Royal Ascot 2021 tickets alongside a lunch for two at Jason Atherton’s Pollen Street Social with a bottle of Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage, an Afternoon Tea and Tiara Experience for two at the House of Garrard's flagship boutique in London, and a Longines timepiece.
Photos posted using the campaign hashtags will be turned into a giant rainbow mosaic image tribute which will become a permanent installation at Ascot Racecourse.
Ascot has also invited British milliners to design and create a hat following a rainbow theme, inline with the nation’s adoption of the rainbow image.
In partnership with the British Hat Guild and the wider millinery world, the designs will be auctioned online during Royal Ascot with all money raised being added to the fund.
Ascot is also partnering with several key British designers who will be sketching illustrations of their dream Royal Ascot outfits. These illustrations will be released in the run up to the event to inspire people at home when planning their #StyledWithThanks outfits.
There will be a dedicated hub on the Ascot website with all relevant Royal Ascot At Home information such as how to download virtual race programmes – in the same iconic format as the regular printed versions – recipe cards, quizzes, activity packs, archive video and imagery, and much more to keep everyone entertained across the week.
Guy Henderson, Chief Executive at Ascot Racecourse, commented:
“In this unique year, our thoughts are with those that have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and of course the NHS and key workers who are playing such a heroic role.
“We are marking this year’s Royal Meeting with our #StyledWithThanks initiative so that people can combine the enjoyment of participating in the event from their homes with their own thanks and contribution to the fundraising campaign.”
To be part of the #RoyalAscot #StyledWithThanks campaign and donate visit here.