Royal Ascot’s strict dress code: Kate Middleton, Princess Eugenie, Sophie Wessex & more royal style lessons

Royal Ascot 2022 is finally upon us and that means two things: gorgeous dresses and fancy hats. The racing event runs from Tuesday June 14 and until Saturday June 18 this year at the prestigious Berkshire racecourse, with the British public dressing in their finery to sip on champagne and bet on the horses.

DISCOVER: 8 best photos of glamorous Kate Middleton at Royal Ascot

Ascot is known for its strict dress code – no outfits above the knee, strapless dresses are a big no-no and hats or fascinators are a must. No one does Ascot style better than the royal family, however, who are used to adhering to similar fashion on a daily basis. The Duchess of Cambridge and Sophie Wessex are known for their impeccable looks at Royal Ascot, and have certainly never put a foot wrong with their outfits.

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Due to her ongoing mobility issues, it is not known whether the Queen will be attending Royal Ascot this year, but if the 96-year-old monarch does make an appearance, royal fans will definitely be able to spot her in the crowd due to her love of wearing brightly coloured dresses and hats.

MORE: 24 beautiful Ascot-appropriate dresses for a day at the races

Read on to discover the strict fashion rules the royal ladies follow and get some serious style inspiration if you’re attending the races yourself…

The Queen always wears bright colours at Ascot

Opt for unusual fabrics

Duchess Kate is the epitome of elegance at Royal Ascot. In 2017 she wowed in a white lace dress with matching fascinator, pretty drop earrings and taupe clutch bag and heels. We adored the modern take on a Victorian look. Kate wore a similar lace dress the year before which fell just below the knee. The cream dress was by Dolce & Gabbana and cost £2,415.

READ MORE: 12 of the royal family’s memorable moments from Royal Ascot

Kate Middleton is always immaculately dressed at Royal Ascot

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Mix and match pastels

Zara Tindall always looks stunning at Ascot. Back in 2017 the royal chose a beautiful pale yellow dress with frill detail and teamed it with a light pink hat and grey bag. The hues worked perfectly together to give a fresh summer feel.

Zara Tindall opted for pastel hues in 2017

Pick subtle prints

There’s a fine line between overly busy outfits and way too plain, but here Sophie Wessex and Autumn Phillips showed how to carry off patterned dresses at the races. Sophie’s striped dress with pale grey fascinator is so elegant while Autumn’s delicate floral pattern on her dress give a hint of colour but not too much, allowing her to team the outfit with an olive green jacket and hat.

The Countess of Wessex and Autumn Phillips rocked subtle prints

Choose a flattering cut

You can’t help but love Princess Eugenie‘s red dress. The shape flatters her curves and draws in her waist. The royal coordinated her headwear with a splash of red florals resting on top of the black hat.

Princess Eugenie looked beautiful in red

Wear a wow factor hat

Ascot really is all about the hat and Princess Beatrice showcased a fine example with this tangerine feather style. The royal cleverly kept things simple with a pale, plain coat dress, accessorising with a fun bright orange clutch.

Princess Beatrice turned heads thanks to her hat

Keep it classic

The Queen always chooses a classic design for her Ascot appearances, from bright shades to elegant pastels. Her Majesty likes the team coat dresses with hats of the same colour. Go regal and coordinate your outfit like our very own monarch.

The Queen keeps things classic

Opt for a modest length

Dresses and skirts should be of modest length, which Royal Ascot defines as falling just above the knee or longer. The Duchess of Cornwall got this spot on in 2018 in an elegant pastel number that didn’t show off too much leg.

The Duchess of Cornwall’s dress was the perfect length

MORE: Royal Ascot afternoon tea recipes: Posh sandwiches, buttermilk scones and a classic Victoria sponge

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