Yorkshire milliners lead the field in the Royal Ascot Styled With Thanks challenge

There may be no Ladies' Day but virtual visitors to Royal Ascot are sending in selfies wearing their fabulous hats for charity. Stephanie Smith reports.

Royal Ascot is taking place behind closed gates this year with no roaring crowds or ladies’ day parades, but the style stakes remain high as brilliant hats are celebrated in a virtual event which invites social media guests to wear their favourite titfer and share online with the hashtags #StyledWithThanks and #RoyalAscot.

The Royal Ascot At Home event, which runs until Saturday alongside the crowd-less racing, is raising money for frontline charities including The National Emergencies Trust Relief Fund, NHS Charities Together and The Care Workers Charity.

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Hat lovers who want to take part are encouraged to donate £5 to the campaign fundraising page, share their outfit selfie and nominate friends to do the same, helping to spread the Styled With Thanks message in recognition of those working on the frontline.

Hats can include ladies' opulent creations or a gentleman's top hat, panama or trilby or any other type of hat. Prizes will be given for the most Elegant, Original and Uplifting outfits across the week with a panel of fashion industry judges selecting the winners. Prizes include Royal Ascot 2021 tickets alongside a lunch for two at Jason Atherton’s Pollen Street Social with a bottle of Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage, an Afternoon Tea and Tiara Experience for two at the House of Garrard's flagship boutique in London, and a Longines timepiece.

Photos posted using the campaign hashtags will be turned into a giant rainbow mosaic image tribute which will become a permanent installation at Ascot Racecourse.

Harrogate milliner Jenny Roberts, who creates showstopping hats and headpieces every year for ladies’ days at Ascot as well as for all the Yorkshire racecourses, has seen a number of her creations take part so far entered by clients including Ripon racehorse owner Hazel Elliott . “Lots of our clients who would normally be attending have taken to celebrating in style at home,” Jenny said. “It's a great opportunity to get dressed up and enjoy the racing. It's a win win for everyone and a lovely opportunity to feel special for the day.”

There is also a millinery auction taking place now in aid of the charities as Royal Ascot and the British Hat Guild join forces on a campaign spearheaded by milliner Stephen Jones OBE, inviting hat designers to create a bespoke hat or headpiece featuring a rainbow theme.

Harrogate milliner Jenny Roberts

The final collection includes designs by Jane Taylor, Lock & Co, Lisa Tan and Ilkley milliner Justine Bradley-Hill, who has created a Liberty print silk covered beret with a suspended gold silk rose, inspired by the NHS Evelina children’s hospital in London where the original NHS rainbow was created.

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The auction is at fundraising-auctions.bid/auction/ascot/styledwiththanks/winning

Editor’s note: first and foremost - and rarely have I written down these words with more sincerity - I hope this finds you well.

Hazel Elliott wears another hat by Jenny Roberts for the #styledwiththanks challenge.

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This hat by Justine Bradley-Hill is used in the Ascot #styledwithlove campaign

Sincerely. Thank you.

James Mitchinson


Thie Evelina hat by Justine Bradley-Hill which will be auctioned for the Ascot #styledwithlove campaign