Glamorous racers paid tribute to the Queen today as they arrived at Epsom Downs Racecourse in Surrey this morning.
The monarch will not attend the Epsom Derby and is expected to watch the major sporting event televised from Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace confirmed last night.
And it seemed that today the royal family was on the minds of many of those elegant participants in the race, who… Dressed to perfection in high heels, flowy summer dresses and elaborate hats.
Many chose to nod to the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations with their outfits dressed in red, white and blue and Union flags.
The event is usually attended by the monarch, 96, but she plans to miss the Epsom Derby today for the third time of her reign to “set the pace” for the ongoing Platinum Jubilee festivities.
Tennis coach and TV personality Judi Murray was one of the stars who stepped out at the event today, glowing in a leopard print ensemble.
Glamorous race-goers paid tribute to the Queen today as they arrived at the Cazoo Derby this morning at Epsom Downs Racecourse in Surrey
It seemed that the monarch was on the minds of many of those elegant participants of today’s race, who dressed to perfection in high heels, flowy sundresses and elaborate hats.
Many chose to nod to the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations with their outfits, dressed in red, white, and blue and Union flags (left), while others wore over-the-top floral ensembles (right)
Elaborate headwear was the order of the day for many, with oversized hats and flamboyant fascinators adorned with feathers, flowers and fringe fringe.
Many wore dresses in vibrant shades of pink and red, while some opted for softer floral patterns.
The Derby, held at Epsom Downs Racecourse in Surrey, was first run in 1780.
It is Britain’s richest flat horse race and the most prestigious of the five classics – the other four being the 2,000 Guineas Stakes, the 1,000 Guineas Stakes, the Epsom Oaks and the St Leger Stakes.
The Cazoo Derby will be held on Saturday in memory of Lester Piggott. It will be the first time in the Classic’s 242-year history that it has been dedicated to a person.
Piggott, who died earlier this year at age 86, won the Derby a record nine times.
Other plans to mark his passing include a minute of applause on Friday and Saturday from the Derby rally, and a wreath in the colors of Nijinsky, winner of Piggott’s 1970 Derby, standing by his statue in front of the Queen Elizabeth II grandstand. will be laid.
Meanwhile, an eager gentleman opted for a very bold red, blue and white vest which he paired with vibrant scarlet trousers.
Cardboard cutouts depicting Queen Elizabeth II during two different periods of her reign were seen on the top of a decorated bus as race goers prepare for the day’s events
Tennis coach and TV personality Judi Murray was one of the stars to step into the event today, glowing in a leopard print ensemble
It comes as Buckingham Palace announced that the Queen would not be attending the event today.
The Queen appeared twice on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to watch Trooping the Color and the flypast of 71 aircraft, then traveled back to Windsor Castle to light the first in a chain of more than 3,500 Platinum Jubilee beacons earlier this week. .
The Queen has been forced to cancel a string of engagements in recent months and most recently missed the State Opening of Parliament in May. Her son, Prince Charles, and grandson, Prince William, took her place.
Yesterday, the Duchess of Cambridge is said to have told a participant that the Queen is ‘fine’, but found the day ‘very tiring’.
Gill Smallwood from Bolton spoke to Kate and asked how the Queen was doing.
A racer takes a photo of The British Army Band Tidworth on Derby Day during the Cazoo Derby Festival 2022 at Epsom Racecourse
The British Army Band Tidworth on Derby Day during the Cazoo Derby Festival 2022 at Epsom Racecourse
Ms. Smallwood said of the conversation: ‘She [Kate] said ‘yes, she was fine, it was just very tiring yesterday, and she (the queen) had had a lovely, lovely time’.
The Queen – a passionate horse owner and breeder – would have looked forward to seeing her horse run today at her platinum anniversary celebrations.
The only two previous occasions when the Queen did not attend Epsom were in 1956, on a visit to Sweden for official duties, and in 1984, when she marked the 40th anniversary of the D-Day landings in France.
The Queen has never won the Derby. The closest to success was Aureole’s second-place finish in 1953, her coronation year.
Her Majesty’s hopes of winning on Epsom Derby Day have already come to an end after her sole runner was taken out of a race.
Just Fine was entered to compete in the penultimate race, the World Pool Northern Dancer Handicap, which ran over the entire Derby course over a distance of one mile and four furlongs.
However, it was removed during Thursday’s 48-hour declaration phase.
In May, her favorite horse Reach For The Moon and two others were withdrawn.
The Jockey Club announced that the three thoroughbreds were among a large number who had been ‘scratched’ from the entry list.
Thoroughbreds owned by the Queen have won four of the five flat racing classics – the 1,000 Guineas and 2,000 Guineas, the Oaks and the St Leger – with only the Derby eluding her.
Phil White, Regional Director of The Jockey Club in London, said today: ‘We would like to wish Her Majesty the Queen a wonderful Platinum Jubilee.
“It’s rare that the Queen can’t be with us at Epsom Downs, but we’re delighted she plans to enjoy Derby Day on television.
“We have big plans to celebrate Her Majesty’s contribution to horse racing and the nation, and these will continue in full tomorrow.
“The Derby is a unique race and we look forward to welcoming thousands of people to help us create a spectacular carnival atmosphere.”