Horse Racing

Ladies Day at Royal Ascot: 2023 Date, History, and Traditions

Ladies Day at Royal Ascot: 2023 Date, History, and Traditions
Ladies hat fashions during day one of Royal Ascot

Ladies Day at the Royal Ascot is an age-old tradition that impeccably combines the thrill of horse racing with the elegance of fashion. The event on the third day of Royal Ascot is an opportunity for ladies to showcase their sartorial choices while participating in an exciting day of races. The 2023 Ladies Day at Royal Ascot, scheduled for Thursday, June 22nd, promises to be as glamorous and remarkable as ever, continuing the traditions of grace and elegance.

The Historical Beginnings of Ladies Day

The tradition of Ladies Day dates back to the early beginnings of Ascot itself. Queen Anne founded the racecourse in the 18th century, and whether the tradition began with her or was sparked by an anonymous poet who, in 1823, described the Thursday of the Royal Meeting as ‘when the women, like angels, look sweetly divine,’ the charm and elegance of the day endure. Year after year, Ladies Day sees women in their most splendid outfits, bringing glamour and allure to the occasion.

The Ascot Dress Code: A Testament to Tradition

A unique aspect of Royal Ascot, particularly of Ladies Day, is the strict dress code that adds to the prestige and heritage of the event. Ascot’s dress code was established in the 19th Century by Beau Brummel, a Regency fashion arbiter, underscoring the event’s commitment to maintaining a formal tradition.


The Royal Enclosure, the most exclusive section of Ascot, requires women to wear dresses of modest length with straps that are at least one inch wide. Jumpsuits and trouser suits are permitted, provided they are the same color. Men must wear a black or grey morning suit with a top hat.

In the Queen Anne Enclosure, named after the event’s founder, the dress code for women includes formal attire with no strapless or off-the-shoulder dresses allowed. Men must be in full-length suits with a tie.

The Windsor Enclosure provides a more casual experience. Here, women can express themselves with different cuts and headwear, and men may opt out of wearing a suit and tie as long as they wear a jacket, shirt, and long trousers.

The Village Enclosure holds expectations similar to the Royal Enclosure. Ladies must always wear a suitable headpiece, and strapless or sheer tops/dresses are prohibited. The Village Enclosure is a grassed area, encouraging guests to consider this when choosing suitable footwear.

Location and Facilities at Ascot

Ascot Racecourse, located in beautiful Berkshire, is less than an hour’s drive or train journey from London. It is conveniently accessible from the M3, M4, M40, and M25 motorways and London Heathrow, allowing guests to make the most of their day at this prestigious event.

The Ascot Pavilion, with its private balcony overlooking the beautiful Plaza Lawns, offers a luxurious experience. Guests are treated to a sumptuous three-course lunch, a complimentary bar, and an afternoon tea.

A new addition to the facilities is The Gallery Restaurant. This establishment is ideally situated above The Lawn Club, providing guests with an exceptional corporate hospitality option and a prime viewing position of the thrilling racing action.

Looking Forward to Ladies Day at Royal Ascot 2023

Ladies Day at Royal Ascot 2023 invites guests to partake in an event steeped in history and tradition. With a rigorous dress code, a beautiful setting, and the anticipation of thrilling horse races, the day promises to be as glamorous and elegant as ever. As Ladies Day continues to evolve, it remains true to its roots, maintaining the charm and allure that have defined it since its inception.

Whether guests are drawn to the spectacular races, the chance to express their style or the camaraderie and atmosphere of the day, Ladies Day at Royal Ascot continues to be a much-anticipated event in the horse racing and fashion calendars. The perfect blend of history, fashion, and sport ensures this timeless event remains a year highlight, promising a day of elegance, glamour, and thrilling horse racing. The 2023 event will, no doubt, continue this impressive tradition.

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About the author


Andrew Shassetz is a seasoned freelance writer who combines his academic background from the University of Alaska, where he studied Journalism, with a genuine love for horse racing. Following a significant life-changing accident, Andrew courageously shifted his career path from mainstream journalism to full-time freelancing.

Today, he passionately delves into the thrilling world of horse racing and sports. He delivers compelling, insightful commentaries that resonate with readers worldwide, redefining sports journalism with his unique blend of personal experience and professional expertise.