Queen will not attend Epsom Derby, Buckingham Palace confirms

3 June 2022, 15:57 | Updated: 3 June 2022, 16:53

The Queen will not be attending the Epsom Derby
The Queen will not be attending the Epsom Derby. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

The Queen will not attend the Epsom Derby as part of her Platinum Jubilee celebrations on Saturday, Buckingham Palace has confirmed.

She also skipped Friday's Platinum Jubilee service of thanksgiving at St Paul's Cathedral after experiencing "some discomfort" the previous day, with her watching the service at home in Windsor instead.

It follows reports that the monarch wants to pace herself during her milestone celebrations.

She appeared twice to kick off celebrations on Thursday, appearing on the Buckingham Palace balcony to wave to thousands of well-wishers during Trooping of the Colour as well as attending the beacon lighting event in the evening.

The Derby on Saturday June 4 was set to be a personal highlight for the Queen during the four days of Jubilee festivities.

The head of state, a passionate horse owner and breeder, was due to be greeted on the course with a special guard of honour including up to 40 of her past and present jockeys.

However, she is now expected to watch it on television.

Read more: Feuding Brothers divided: William and Harry don't talk and kept apart at St Paul's

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Phil White, London regional director for The Jockey Club, said: "We would like to wish Her Majesty The Queen a wonderful Platinum Jubilee.

"It is a rare occasion that the Queen is unable to join us at Epsom Downs but we are delighted she plans to enjoy Derby Day on television.

"We have big plans to celebrate Her Majesty's contribution to horseracing and the nation, and these will continue in full tomorrow.

"The Derby is a unique race and we are looking forward to welcoming people in their thousands to help us create a spectacular carnival atmosphere."

The nation's longest reigning monarch has been facing episodic mobility problems in recent months.

This led her to miss a number of major events this year, including the State Opening of Parliament.

Speaking of Thursday's celebrations, the Duchess of Cambridge is said to have told an attendee at a Guildhall reception that the Queen had a "lovely" time but found the day "very tiring".

Read more: Cheering crowds greet Harry and Meghan at St Paul's before Queen's thanksgiving service

Gill Smallwood from Bolton spoke with Kate on Friday after a service of thanksgiving at the nearby St Paul's Cathedral.

Ms Smallwood said she had asked Kate how the Queen was doing.

She explained: "She [Kate] said, 'yes, she was fine, it was just very tiring yesterday, and she (the Queen) had had a lovely, lovely time'."

In a statement on Thursday, Buckingham Palace said the Queen "greatly enjoyed" her birthday parade and flypast in London but "did experience some discomfort".

The palace said that, considering the "journey and activity required to participate" in the St Paul's service, the Queen had "with great reluctance" concluded that she would not attend.