Off To The Races No.3: Black Ascot

In our Off to the Races series we’ll round up some tales from Ascot history alongside a few style tips.

The most famous Ascot meeting of them all, in terms of iconic style, took place 101 years ago. It has passed into the popular consciousness under the name Black Ascot.

The death of King Edward VII on the 6th May 1910 saw the nation plunged into mourning – to such an extent that even the gaiety of Royal Ascot was tempered. Mourning was the order of the day and black the predominant colour among the racegoers.

The legendary status of this race meeting was assured for all time with Cecil Beaton’s famous Black Ascot costumes for My Fair Lady.

It is entirely appropriate, of course, that King Edward VII inspired such a memorable moment in the history of style. The King’s contributions to the world of style are famous and manifold. The Windsor Knot is often credited to him, as is the practise of leaving the bottom button of the waistcoat (vest in American parlance) undone.



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