Even though this is the fourth time Angela Hampshire will be attending Royal Ascot, this year is a particularly special one. The gorgeous Australian born solicitor is getting married following the event. She and her husband-to-be are pulling all the stops for the weekend, bringing together wedding guests who are flying in from all over the world. She tells Travelle all about the flowing champagne, dress code and typical day at the most highly coveted equestrian event of the Summer!
What brings you back to Royal Ascot every year?
Personally, I enjoy any high level sport. But Royal Ascot is more than that - it's a wonderful English tradition and a spectacle like no other. It’s whimsical and just fabulously British. As I go regularly, I have a membership to the Royal Enclosure, but that’s not a necessity to enjoy this amazing event in a gorgeous setting among beautifully dressed people.
What does a day at Royal Ascot look like?
Because I’m getting married a week after Royal Ascot, it’s a fabulous excuse to entertain guests traveling from overseas. We're going all out - a step up from last year's Coronation Chicken in the car park - but I do recommend doing that at least once in your life!
We usually start off the day with an early brunch with family and friends, and hellos with a glass of champagne or two upon arrival to the event. We try to squeeze in at least one race before lunch at the Whites tent (England's oldest gentleman's club). After lunch, we head to the parade ring to inspect the horses whilst trying to catch a glimpse of the Queen before the final race of the day.
In the afternoon, we head back to Whites for High Tea (more nibbles and champagne!), followed by the main event, the Diamond Jubilee Stakes. We finish with a quick stop by the car park parties, and continue on with festivities that involve more glasses of bubbles. This year, we will continue on to Blenheim Palace for dinner in light of our pre-wedding celebrations!
What will your hat look like this year and how will you get it to the event safely?
I've just had a big black bow delivered from an Australian designer - Nerida Winter. Luckily, my other half inherited a vintage hat box for his top hat and when travelling – I sneak mine in on top.
What is the dress code for the Royal Enclosure?
There is a strict protocol for the Royal Enclosure, so I allow a little more time to prepare than my usual slap-dash, last minute pack. Ladies are to wear “formal daywear”, a tricky dress code at the best of times. Hats are required to have a minimum base (diameter) of 4 inches (10cm) must be worn. Fascinators are not acceptable!
Dresses must fall at or above the knee and have straps of at least one inch or greater; and yes there are matrons on the door checking on arrival. No midriffs, halter necks or spaghetti straps are permitted. The style guide expressly states so!
The Valentino Macramé lace dress checks all the boxes and makes a statement piece for the day, paired with an Oscar de la Renta Goa embellished satin clutch and Manolo Blahnik Chaos Ankle-Strap Sandals.
What are some of the must have beauty products for the event?
Because it's a full day affair, applying an oil control setting spray is a must so you look fresh all day and your makeup doesn't smudge. Urban Decay makes a great travel sized one that you can easily carry on with you. Another staple is the bareMinerals GLOSS on the go™ Double-Ended Marvelous Moxie Lipgloss Set. You can use the lighter tone during the day and transition into a brighter lipgloss for the evening events without the need to bring two items! Lastly, for the pasty English skin, sunscreen is a must. I like Supergoop! Antioxidant-Infused Sunscreen Mist With Vitamin C Broad Spectrum SPF 50 as I don't worry about it getting on my dress.
Now, that's going off to the races in style!