CROWNED HEADS – It was not the most significant event of the weekend, but it was particularly close to his heart. On Friday June 3, on the evening of the second day of Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee, services at Buckingham Palace announced that the Queen of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth would not take part in the Epsom Derby, a prestigious horse show. .
A symbolic absence for a monarch who since her coronation has only been absent three times from this race, disputed since the end of the 18th century and which is part of an extremely popular triptych across the Channel, the “Triple Crown” .
In a press release which does not expand on the reasons for the absence of Elizabeth II – even if her health must probably play a role – Buckingham Palace specifies however that the queen will be represented by her daughter Anne. The monarch will be content to watch the race on television from Windsor Castle.
She will still be honored.
Because the Epsom Derby is far from trivial for the great horse enthusiast that is Elizabeth II, who dreams of seeing one of her horses win there, which has never happened before (in 1953 , two days after his coronation, one of his horses had placed second). And it won’t be for this year, which marks his 70th anniversary on the throne of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth, since we know that “Just Fine”, his last horse still in the running, has been removed from the list of departure.
The queen will however be at the heart of this great equestrian event, despite her absence. It is indeed expected that dozens of jockeys who have ridden his horses will form a guard of honor to pay homage to him and that several of his “retired” horses will parade in front of the crowded stands of the racecourse located in south-west London.
In addition, the famous jockey Lester Piggott, nine times winner of the Derby (and riding the horse of Elizabeth II who came second in 1953), who died a week ago will also be honored. In 2019, it was the sovereign who personally inaugurated a statue paying homage to her at Epsom racecourse.
See also on the HuffPost: At Queen Elizabeth’s Jubilee, Prince Louis obviously didn’t like the show