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Lucinda Newell - The Super-Sleuthing Property Rental Expert - One Woman and Her Dog

To be seen pottering along the highways and byways of Luton in her Mini Clubman, her trusted Scottie Malcolm at her side, our super sleuthing property rental expert Ms Lucinda Newell is on the case on your behalf! I am so excited as I write this column as I am reporting on fulfilling one of those 100 things you must do before you die activities. I have been to Ladies Day at Royal Ascot!! I was invited by a gentlemen friend of my acquaintance and spent a large amount of my time selecting my outfit (and, of course, my hat) for the occasion. Now Im not one of those sylph-like model types photographed in the national papers but I did want to look my best for this historic event which dates back to 1711 when it was founded by Queen Anne. Every year Royal Ascot is attended by HM Elizabeth II and various members of the Royal Family such as The Prince of Wales. They arrive each day in horse-drawn carriages with the Royal procession taking place at the start of each race day together with the raising of the Queen's Royal Standard. My mode of transport was somewhat more modest. Royal Ascot is a major event in the British social calendar, and the press coverage of the attendees and what they are wearing often exceeds coverage of the actual racing. As a regular attendee, my friend had badges to the Royal Enclosure which is the most prestigious of the three enclosures at Ascot, with visits from the Queen and Royal Family members and associated high security. The dress code is strictly enforced. For women, only a day dress with a hat is acceptable, with rules applying to the length and style of the dress. I am told that, in addition, women must not show bare midriffs or shoulders (not that I intended to do so anyway!). My gentlemen friend wore a grey morning dress with top hat. Over 300,000 people make the annual visit to Berkshire during Royal Ascot week, making this Europes best-attended race meeting. There are sixteen group races on offer, with at least one Group One event on each of the five days. The Gold Cup was on Ladies' Day on the Thursday I went. Apparently the prize money on offer at Royal Ascot in 2013 was 5,000,000. This really was a once in a lifetime experience Thank goodness it didnt rain! All that is left to do now is mothball the hat and try and get Malcolm to forgive mehe spent the day with friends, but still feels like he missed out. Come on Malcolm, walkies!
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