Would-be Royal Ascot racegoers dress up at home for the virtual races

Caroline Allen
Contributor
Ascot this year isn't quite the same. (Royal Ascot)

Nothing about 2020 has been quite how we expected and Royal Ascot is no exception.

Thousands of would-be racegoers would’ve donned their finest outfits at one of the UK’s most sought-after sporting events this week.

The event will still go ahead, but behind closed doors to stop the spread of coronavirus. That hasn’t stopped people from getting dressed up for the virtual races, though.

The Queen has even had to forgo visiting Ascot for the first time in 68 years.

Louise Roe joined the virtual revellers. (Royal Ascot)

So that the 300,000 usual visitors to Royal Ascot could still be involved, it launched a Royal Ascot At Home campaign, encouraging people to dress up in their races outfits and share the looks on social media.

Among them, many celebrities and influencers were involved.

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Virtual guests are encouraged to use the hashtag #StyledWithThanks and make a donation to Ascot’s NHS COVID-19 charity.

One of the first to get involved was author and journalist, Louise Roe, who paired her O Pioneers dress with a Jane Taylor headpiece, keeping to the quintessentially British theme.

AP McCoy’s wife, Chanelle, also dressed up for the occasion, wearing a handmade hat from Rosie Olivia Millinery.

Regular racegoers, Zara and Mike Tindall also decided to take part, posing for a photo in Princess Anne's Gatcombe estate in Gloucestershire, where they’ve been isolating with their two children.

Zara Tindall wore a bespoke Juliette Millinery paired with a Beulah London dress and Emmy London shoes for the occasion, again, giving a nod to British fashion.

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Other stay-at-home revellers got involved in the hashtag, too, showing off their would-be Royal Ascot outfits in front of some pretty impressive garden backdrops.

We want to know how many of them jumped straight back into their pyjamas afterwards.

Some even matched their face masks to their outfits in a very 2020 move. We can’t quite imagine that happening at last year’s Royal Ascot.

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Prizes will be given out throughout the course of the event to the most Elegant, Original and Uplifting outfits and a panel of judges will be standing by to give their verdict.

All money raised through the campaign will be split between four charities: The National Emergencies Trust Relief Fund, NHS Charities Together, The Care Workers Charity and the Berkshire Community Foundation Coronavirus Fund.