Horse racing fans worldwide will have a total of 35 different races to watch this week at the annual Royal Ascot horse racing festival and we have all the details on how you can catch all the action on TV or online.
The Royal Ascot is one of the most popular horse racing meets in the world and the five-day event is held annually at the Ascot Racecourse in Berkshire, England. However, unlike the tracks in the U.S., Ascot Racecourse is shaped like a rounded triangle and includes both uphill and downhill stretches. Horses from around the world will be in attendance as will racing fans who missed out on seeing the event live last year due to the pandemic.
Unlike the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes, the Royal Ascot is very much a social event and the 4,000 attendees at this year's races will need to adhere to a strict dress code. While men are typically required to wear a top hat and a waistcoat with a tie, women must also dress formally while always wearing a hat, headpiece, or fascinator.
You can check out the full schedule for the 2021 Royal Ascot further down in this guide but the most prestigious event at the festival is the Gold Cup. This year's Gold Cup will be held on Thursday beginning at 11:15am ET / 8:15am PT in the U.S. and at 4:15pm BST in the UK. The Gold Cup is a Group 1 flat horse race that is run over a distance of two miles, 3 furlongs and 210 yards. While the Queen of England did not attend last year's Royal Ascot, she typically presents the trophies to the jockey and owner who win the Gold Cup each year. Surprisingly, Ladies Day, which is known for its famous hat extravaganza, is also scheduled to take place on Thursday.
Whether you're a die-hard horse racing fan eager to catch all 35 races at this year's horse racing festival or just want to tune in to see the festivities and perhaps even the Queen, we'll show you exactly how to watch this year's Royal Ascot from anywhere in the world.
Royal Ascot 2021: Where and when?
This year's Royal Ascot takes place from Tuesday, June 15 until Saturday, June 19 at the Ascot Racecourse in Berkshire, England. There will be a total of 35 races throughout the week and coverage of each day's races will begin at 9:30am ET / 6:30am PT and will continue until 1:30pm ET / 10:30am PT.
How to watch Royal Ascot 2021 in the U.S.
If you live in the U.S. and have a cable subscription, you'll be able to watch this year's Royal Ascot horse racing festival on NBC. The network will show the races held from Tuesday to Friday on NBCSN beginning at 8:30am ET / 5:30am PT though Saturday's races will be shown on NBC beginning at 9am ET / 6am PT.
Not interested in signing up for cable just to watch this year's Royal Ascot on NBC? Don't worry as there are a number of streaming services, all at different price points, that will give you access to the network so you can watch the race online. We've listed a few of our favorites below to make things easier for you.
- Hulu with Live TV - $64.99 per month - As well as giving you access to NBC, the service also includes its own Hulu Originals and supports a wide variety of streaming devices.
- Sling TV (opens in new tab) - $35 per month - In order to get access to NBC, you'll have to sign up for Sling TV's Sling Blue package. The service also lets you watch on three screens simultaneously and record live TV with its Cloud DVR.
- YouTube TV - $65 per month - YouTube TV gives you access to NBC as well as over 70 other TV channels and a free 14-day trial available.
- AT&T TV Now (opens in new tab) - $69.99 per month - AT&T TV Now's Entertainment package will give you access to NBC and the service allows you to watch over 45 live TV channels. You can also record up to 20 hours of content using its cloud DVR.
- FuboTV (opens in new tab) - starting at $64.99 per month. FuboTV gives you access to NBC as well as over 80 other channels. The service also includes a 7-day free trial so you can test it out for yourself.
Get a Royal Ascot 2021 live stream for free in the UK
Horse racing fans in the UK will be able to watch all 35 races at this year's Royal Ascot for free on ITV. The free-to-air network will begin its coverage of each day's races at 1:30pm BST on ITV though races held in the evening will be shown on ITV4.
If you have a Sky Sports subscription, you can also watch the Royal Ascot on Sky Sports Racing (opens in new tab) as both it and ITV will show every race live this year.
ITV's live coverage of Royal Ascot is available to watch for free to viewers in the UK with a valid TV licence.
Sky Sports will show the action from Ascot plus a ton of other exclusive sports coverage throughout the year.
Watch the Royal Ascot 2021 from anywhere
We have all the details on how you can watch the 2021 Royal Ascot in the U.S. and the UK above in this guide. However, if you're currently traveling or live in a country without an official broadcast option you won't be able to watch this year's week-long horse racing festival.
That's where a VPN (Virtual Private Network) can really come in handy. They allow you to virtually change the IP address of your laptop, tablet, or mobile to one that's back in your home country which will let you watch as if you were back there.
VPNs are incredibly easy to use and have the added benefit of providing you with an additional layer of security when surfing the web. There are also a lot of options but we recommend ExpressVPN as our top pick due to its speed, security and ease of use. The service can even be used on a wide array of operating systems and devices (e.g. iOS, Android, Smart TVs, Fire TV Stick, Roku, game consoles, etc). Sign up for ExpressVPN now (opens in new tab) and enjoy a 49% discount and 3 months FREE with an annual subscription. You can even test it out for yourself thanks to the service's 30-day money-back guarantee. Looking for more options?
Here are some other VPNs that are on sale right now.
2021 Royal Ascot Full Schedule
- The Queen Anne Stakes (G1) - 9:30am ET / 6:30am PT
- The Coventry Stakes (G2) - 10:05am ET / 7:05am PT
- The King's Stand Stakes (G1) - 10:40am ET / 7:40am PT
- The St James's Palace Stakes (G1) - 11:20am ET / 8:20am PT
- The Ascot Stakes (Handicap) - 12pm ET / 9am PT
- The Wolferton Stakes (Listed) - 12:35pm ET / 9:35am PT
- The Copper Horse Stakes (Handicap) - 1:10pm ET / 10:10am PT
- The Queen Mary Stakes (G2) - 9:30am ET / 6:30am PT
- The Queen's Vase (G2) - 10:05am ET / 7:05am PT
- The Duke of Cambridge Stakes (G2) - 10:40am ET / 7:40am PT
- The Prince of Wales's Stakes (G1) - 11:20am ET / 8:20am PT
- The Royal Hunt Cup (Heritage Handicap) - 12pm ET / 9am PT
- The Windsor Castle Stakes (Listed) - 12:35pm ET / 9:35am PT
- The Kensington Palace Stakes (Handicap) - 1:10pm ET / 10:10am PT
- The Norfolk Stakes (G2) - 9:30am ET / 6:30am PT
- The Hampton Court Stakes (G3) - 10:05am ET / 7:05am PT
- The Ribblesdale Stakes (G2) - 10:40am ET / 7:40am PT
- The Gold Cup (G1) - 11:20am ET / 8:20am PT
- The Britannia Stakes (Heritage Handicap) - 12pm ET / 9am PT
- The King George V Stakes (Handicap) - 12:35pm ET / 9:35am PT
- The Buckingham Palace Stakes (Handicap) - 1:10pm ET / 10:10am PT
- The Albany Stakes (G3) - 9:30am ET / 6:30am PT
- The King Edward VII Stakes (G2) - 10:05am ET / 7:05am PT
- The Commonwealth Cup (G1) - 10:40am ET / 7:40am PT
- The Coronation Stakes (G1) - 11:20am ET / 8:20am PT
- The Sandringham Stakes (Handicap) - 12pm ET / 9am PT
- The Duke of Edinburgh Stakes (Handicap) - 12:35pm ET / 9:35am PT
- The Palace Of Holyroodhouse Stakes (Handicap) - 1:10pm ET / 10:10am PT
- The Chesham Stakes (Listed) - 9:30am ET / 6:30am PT
- The Jersey Stakes (G3) - 10:05am ET / 7:05am PT
- The Hardwicke Stakes (G2) - 10:40am ET / 7:40am PT
- The Diamond Jubilee Stakes (G1) - 11:20am ET / 8:20am PT
- The Wokingham Stakes (Heritage Handicap) - 12pm ET / 9am PT
- The Golden Gates Stakes (Handicap) - 12:35pm ET / 9:35am PT
- The Queen Alexandra Stakes (Conditions) - 1:10pm ET / 10:10am PT
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