Monday, February 18, 2013

Royal Ascot Adventure


Every June, I see photos of people dressed to kill attending Royal Ascot thoroughbred horse races at Ascot Racecourse in the UK.

The women are dressed to the nines and I often thought that if I lived the UK, I would make an effort to attend the event en femme.

It seems that I am not the only femulator to come up with that idea. Over the years, I have noticed an occasional femulator showing up in the photos from Ascot.

Turns out, a Femulate reader, Carolyn Stevenson of Carolyn's Classy Closet fame, is a regular attendee at Royal Ascot and she volunteered to tell her story. So without further adieu, here is Carolyn's “Royal Ascot Adventure.”

For you thrill-seeking femulators out there, nothing comes even close for the most fun, ego-massaging, glamorous event anywhere.

In the middle of flaming June (well most years) a horse race meeting takes place 30 or so miles west of London to which almost 300,000 flock over six days. Travel is easy as long as you take the train; driving is a two-hour traffic jam nightmare as are the parking fees.

Ascot Racecourse is just three miles from Windsor Castle and the Queen and her entourage drive along an avenue from the castle in horse drawn carriages, arriving every day at 2 o'clock.

I mentioned fun. Everyone who comes has been preparing carefully, some for months to get the outfit just right. So on the day, nothing is going to get in the way of a good time. The 170,000 or so bottles of champagne consumed during the week may have something to do with it!

One can pay several hundred pounds to have lunch in the tented village around the Royal enclosure, but most people bring some lovely food and wine to picnic alfresco in the usually lovely weather.

I took just a sandwich and a wine glass last year and my glass was never empty! The friendliness and generosity is simply overwhelming.

As one moves around, people beg to have their photo taken with you, to share a glass or two, or ask you to join the many groups sitting on the grass overlooking the course. Being a trannie never felt so good!

There are so few it seems, opperchancities to dress up these days, that those who have made an effort appreciate those who have too and we sit chatting and exchanging tips and mutual admiration. The ladies and some gentlemen are glad to have in their midst a "special" lady, who in most cases outshines the "real" ones.

Ladies' Day is the time to see some extravagant examples of the milliner's art, but I tend avoid that day as some of the ladies get a bit too merry and it's not a pretty sight. No matter which day you go, you will see some lovely outfits; the colours and combinations worn by young and old are sometimes breathtaking. I've never embraced so many attractive women in such short time and space.

I was asked, "Why do you dress?"

I answered, "How many men do you see around here with four ladies on their arms?"

Once lunch is over and the Queen has arrived the race program begins. Some of the best horses in the world race here, but I have to confess, such was the hectic nature the socializing, I never saw a race last year! Saved me loosing my shirt, pardon me, blouse on that occasion!

You may judge by the above that I love the glamour and general party atmosphere, so many radiant beautifully dressed people all there for a fabulous day out. The party even continues on the train where a glass or two is still being raised on the way home. Some even gather after reaching London on the Embankment next to Houses of Parliament to continue the merriment well into the evening.

I forget how many times I've been, starting about 12 years ago and on the last occasion, I went on my own after a friend dropped out and I had the best time ever.

Start looking for your big hat now and I'll see you there. It's not too long 'til June!



Carolyn Stevenson at Royal Ascot




Royal Ascot attendees.


  1. If you want to see what the racing is really like, find the photos the Daily Mail have from Melbourne Australia. Starts classy, end's disgraceful

    What You think

  2. My friend Jodie, who runs the Boudoir Dressing Service based in London, runs a trip to Ascot every year:
    I've not been myself, but am told she runs a fantastic day.

  3. Despite our conservative reputation, we love to dress for the races in Kentucky. A spring Friday afternoon at the races at Keeneland or Churchill Downs is a fine and safe occasion for a transwoman to wear a nice dress, or skirt, and heels. A large hat is a must. Consider it homage to the Ascot tradition, except with a glass of fine Bourbon instead of wine.

    1. Sounds lovely! Wish I could get to every glam race meeting everywhere. Could be a career, if someone would sponsor me?

      Raising a glass of Chard right now, Caro.

  4. I've been with Jody too and indeed it is a fantastic day. If you want, how ever to "do it youself" it is a great deal cheaper and I think more fun to travel by train. Going in a group attracts a great deal more attention which I also enjoy. Either way you can't loose!

    Start looking for the big hat!