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Let the (polite) races begin
Let the (polite) races begin

Royal Ascot: one of the critical events on the English summer social calendar. However, it seems that some people misbehave (tsk tsk) and could do with a few guidelines. Of course, not you - NEVER!

The golden etiquette tips from the dab hands at Debretts:

  • Eating in public requires all private habits to be closeted. Pace yourself, so neither hoover like a wolf nor pick like a sparrow. Bring food to your mouth rather than drop your head.
  • A man should stand up to greet a woman when she first arrives. There is no need, however, to jump up and down like a jack in the box every time she enters or leaves the room.
  • Hangovers are generally self-inflicted, so you should approach the day after an evening’s overindulgence with stoicism, and keep your misery to yourself.
  • Everyone enjoys a flutter, but ensure that you don’t become overly competitive or, if you’re lucky enough to back a winner, never gloat to less fortunate companions.
  • Being punctual always scores bonus points. You will come across as someone who cares about other people, and is efficient, organised and reliable.
  • Basic courtesies are easily forgotten on public transport, particularly if delays are lengthy and space is tight. Do not perpetuate this. Always offer your seat to those who need it more than you do.
  • A man holding a door open for woman is still a chivalrous gesture, even in our less-gallant times.
  • A genuine compliment will suffuse the recipient with positive feelings, and oils the wheels of social intercourse.
  • If you’re somebody’s guest, remember your manners and don’t forget that all-important thank you letter afterwards.

Dapper Gentlepeople at the Ascot Races, 1926

Dapper Gentlepeople at the Ascot Races, 1926

“At the Ascot races a woman prepares to put up her umbrella against the rain in 1926. When the weather was sunny, however, parasols were no longer essential accessories, as having a suntan was now becoming fashionable.” (Decades of Fashion)

Photo originally uploaded by Gatochy

Thumbnail photo of HRH Queen Elizabeth II: Wenn/Samir Hussein

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