An incredible day at Royal Ascot with Longines

It’s always a real pleasure to get that phone call from a big brand asking you if you’d like to attend an event at their expense. However, when it’s Longines and you know that they sponsor some of the most iconic sports events in the world, the excitement can reach fever pitch. So when I was asked if I’d like to attend this years Royal Ascot as a guest of Longines, it took all of my composure to not go into complete melt down.

I was told that we would be staying at the beautiful Four Seasons hotel in Hampshire. We would attend the Longines Ladies Awards at the National History Museum in London on the first evening and then off to Royal Ascot the next day. Unfortunately, no pictures were allowed during the Awards ceremony as the recipient was non other than HRH The Princess Royal for her dedication and commitment to Equestrian sports. Very special event in an incredible setting.

On arrival at the Four Seasons we were treated to a traditional high tea. I will admit to completely ignoring the sandwiches and focussing on the sweet stuff.

I managed to get a few shots of some watches and this one from Longines didn’t disappoint, the Conquest Classic in 18 Karat pink gold and stainless steel, 42mm in size with a triple calendar, chrono and moon phase function on a chocolate brown alligator strap. Great looking piece with incredible wrist presence.

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The next morning, the Longines party met in the hotel reception for transport to Royal Ascot. The dress code was strict. Men had to wear morning coats and top hats and the ladies knee length dresses and hats. The reason for this was that Longines were lucky enough to have access to the Royal Enclosure at Royal Ascot, hence the strict dress code. The atmosphere was magical, felt like we were off to a summer wedding.

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We did start to see some rain at this point and unfortunately it became pretty heavy. I heard after the event, that it was the wettest Royal Ascot in 40 years, so the summer wedding analogy went out the window – actually probably not for the UK :-).

Longines had arranged a private box overlooking the race course, where we could all watch the 6 races of the day and enjoy Royal Ascot’s fantastic hospitality.

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This was shot on the wrist of a very elegant woman, who proved to be a little camera shy. The watch is from the Grande Classique de Longines range. This is their flagship model and both dial and case are set with diamonds. Very elegant piece, especially with the sun ray blue dial.

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After a fabulous lunch, people started to move to our box’s terrace in anticipation of the arrival of HRH Queen Elizabeth and her family. It was touch and go whether the rain would prevent her usual arrival by carriage along the race course.

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As if by magic (or Royal Decree), the heavens cleared and the sun shone across Royal Ascot and The Queen made her way to the Royal Enclosure. I remember seeing The Queen as a young boy many many years ago. Sitting on my Father’s shoulders waving the union jack furiously. Who’d have thought that I’d be welcoming her again, still waving my union jack furiously many decades later.

The racing started in earnest after The Queen’s arrival. I’ll admit to being a horse racing novice, but Longines, who had anticipated this, sent an expert to each table to explain how the betting worked and which horses to look out for. After picking a clutch of winners, I put all my winnings on a horse in the last race and blew the lot, I blame the champagne lol.

Lucky No. 13

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It’s safe to say that everyone had a fabulous time. Being the guest of a big sponsor, allows you to enjoy an event to a level that would be impossible otherwise. Thank you Longines for a fantastic few days.

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