traditional dress code ditched at Royal Ascot to cope with heatwave

London: Men at Royal Ascot have been allowed to remove their ties for the first time in the event’s history, after the dress code was relaxed ahead of this year’s hottest day. The organizers have announced that the dress code, as much a fixture of the prestigious meeting as its runners and riders, would be relaxed for only the second time in its history.

The move comes as weather forecasters predicted 31 degrees for the fifth and final day of the royal meeting in Berkshire. In addition, spectators in all enclosures will be allowed to bring in water and soft drinks for the first time to allow everyone to remain “safe and comfortable”.

Traditional Royal Ascot racewear for gentlemen includes tie, wasitcoast and top hat.

Traditional Royal Ascot racewear for gentlemen includes tie, wasitcoast and top hat. Credit:AP

Male attendees usually required to wear morning suits, including top hats, waistcoats and ties. Ladies are expected to wear hats or headpieces and dresses and skirts of “modest length”.

However, as temperatures are expected to be in the high twenties and low thirties for most of this afternoon, organizers said men would be able to remove their jackets and ties throughout the day. However, they still need to be wearing the appropriate dress code to enter the racecourse and will need to remain in full formal attire until the royal procession has taken place at 2pm.

The Met Office issued a heat-health warning for Friday and advised people to take precautions if outside for long periods of time.

A spokesman for Royal Ascot said: “Race goers will be expected to arrive compliant but can remove jackets and ties as the day goes on due to the high temperatures.”

Temperatures in the high twenties and thirties have tested the race's reputation for decorum.

Temperatures in the high twenties and thirties have tested the race’s reputation for decorum. Credit:AP

In 2017, for the first time in its history, Royal Ascot did not enforce its dress code and on that occasion, men were allowed to eventually remove their jackets due to the “very hot conditions”.

The spokesman added: “From time to time, amendments have been made. There is precedent for dress code not being enforced for hot weather and one year, visitors were advised to wear boots if they were using the Royal Enclosure Gardens when they were waterlogged. It’s rare to relax the dress code but common sense has to apply in extremes of temperature or weather conditions, for everyone’s safety and comfort.”

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