Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 12 August 2020

Royal Ascot might be digital this year, but that hasn't stopped virtual attendees donning their race-day best

Attendees are sharing their looks on social media to raise money for a good cause

Would-be race goers, including Zara and Mike Tindall (centre) and Louise Roe (right) dress up for virtual Royal Ascot. Instagram 
Would-be race goers, including Zara and Mike Tindall (centre) and Louise Roe (right) dress up for virtual Royal Ascot. Instagram 

Usually, during the third week of June, thousands of racegoers descend on the UK town of Ascot for the country’s most prestigious horse racing series.

But, as with most things in 2020, this year is a little different. Instead, Royal Ascot is hosting its first virtual races series, with audiences now having to watch the action from the comfort of their own homes, rather than trackside.

Not to be deterred from having the traditional race experience, however, many people are still dressing to the nines to enjoy the virtual races, and raise money in the process, too.

Royal Ascot has asked its digital attendees to don their race finery – hats, fascinators and all – as part of an Instagram campaign to raise money for a number of UK charities that help the country’s National Health Service in its continued fight against Covid-19.

Ascot kicked things off with a donation of £100,000 (Dh458,000), which will be split between The National Emergencies Trust Relief Fund, NHS Charities Together, The Care Workers Charity and the Berkshire Community Foundation.

Those wishing to share their race-day looks and donate to the campaign have been posting their outfits alongside the specially created hashtag #StyledWithThanks, and a number of UK influencers, including Louise Roe and Deborah Brett, have already taken part, as well as Zara and Mike Tindall.

“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," Ascot Racecourse chief executive Guy Henderson said.

“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.”

Prizes will be given for the most Elegant, Original and Uplifting outfits and a panel of judges will select the winners. The competition runs until Saturday, June 20.

Updated: June 18, 2020 05:18 PM

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