It’s hard to believe it’s been two years since my first trip to Royal Ascot. It doesn’t seem so long ago that my boyfriend and I went to Berkshire to watch the races and I got scouted for and then won the Face of Ascot 2009 modeling competition. It feels like such a short time has gone by since last year, when my time at Royal Ascot involved press interviews, sponsorships, and passing the baton to Callie Moore, the Face of Ascot 2010.
But the years have gone by, and on Saturday it was time to return to Royal Ascot. This time, though, I thought I was in for a relaxing day at the races with friends. I even went so far as to assure my companions that I wouldn’t be involved in any of the interviews and publicity that characterized my Royal Ascot experience last year.
As soon as we walked into the racecourse on Saturday afternoon, my boyfriend spotted a Face of Ascot tent. We walked up, and I was immediately swept into an interview on Ascot TV, an impromptu makeover, and a photo shoot. It was very fun even if it was not quite the quiet day I had expected.
I went down to the racecourse with my friends to watch the first race, then headed over to the BBC catwalk to meet up with a number of people I had worked with during my year as the Face of Ascot. I also got to meet the two new Face of Ascot winners (there is now a male winner as well as a female winner, and there is no longer a judging, only a selection of the winners on the Thursday of Royal Ascot and their presentation on the Saturday).
It was great to catch up with everyone, from the Ascot PR team to the milliner that made my hats last year to the modeling agency that sponsors the Face of Ascot competition to the BBC presenters that introduce the winners on TV.
Following a short fashion show and the presentation of the new Faces of Ascot, my boyfriend and I went to the Winning Connections Room by the Parade Ring. There we got to say hello to some other people from Ascot and await an interview with all four Faces of Ascot. The interview was fun, not least because it took place ten feet away from both the Queen and Vivienne Westwood.
After the interview I was able to meet back up with my friends, who had been watching the rest of the races. We stayed on for a bit longer before heading back to London, enjoying the last of the festivities and a final glass of Pimm’s.
While this year at Royal Ascot wasn’t as heavy with promotional activities as last year, it was still great to be involved with the Face of Ascot campaign and to see so many people that I hadn’t seen since 2009. It was nice to have some down time to enjoy the races and spend time with friends, too. I hope the balance between the two continues in the future.