Ascot style lessons from the royals! Kate Middleton, Princess Eugenie, Zara Tindall & more

The royal family always get the dress code right

Sophie Hamilton

Royal Ascot 2021 is finally upon us and that means two things: dresses and hats. The racing event of the year runs from 15 to 19 June at the prestigious Berkshire racecourse, with British public dressing in their finery to sip champers and bet on the horses. 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.

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

The Duchess of Cambridge and Sophie Wessex are known for their impeccable chic looks at Royal Ascot, never putting a foot wrong with their outfits. The Queen has attended the annual racing event for years and loves to wear brightly coloured dresses and hats, rumour has it, so she is easily spotted by the public.

Read on to discover the fashion rules the royal ladies follow...


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

SHOP SALE: Kate Middleton's favourite jewellery collections are in Monica Vinader's huge summer jewellery sale

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.

SHOP: 21 beautiful Ascot-appropriate dresses for a day at the races


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

Make sure you never miss a ROYAL story! Sign up to our newsletter to get all of our celebrity, royal and lifestyle news delivered directly to your inbox.