Platinum Jubilee: Why is the Queen missing Epsom Derby?

The Queen experienced a certain “discomfort” on the first day of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

The Queen is said to be “fine” but found the first of four days of celebrations to mark her platinum anniversary “very tiring”.

Buckingham Palace confirmed on Friday that she would not be attending the Epsom Derby on Saturday.

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It has been confirmed that the Queen will not be attending the Epsom Derby. She is pictured here arriving at Epsom Downs Racecourse ahead of the 2017 Investec Derby Festival.

How is the queen?

At a reception at London’s Guildhall on Friday, the Duchess of Cambridge reportedly told an attendee that the Queen was “fine” but the day was “very busy”.

Gill Smallwood from Bolton spoke to Kate and asked how the Queen was doing.

Ms Smallwood told the PA news agency: “She (Kate) said: ‘Yes she was fine, it was just a really hard day yesterday and she (the Queen) had a lovely, lovely time.'”

Ms Smallwood, executive director of domestic violence charity Fortalice, was made an MBE at the New Year’s Honors and was among those invited to the St Paul’s service and subsequent reception at the Guildhall.

In a statement on Thursday, Buckingham Palace said the Queen “really enjoyed” her birthday parade and flyby in London but “felt some discomfort”.

The palace said that considering the “travel and activities required to attend St Paul’s service”, the Queen concluded “with great reluctance” that she would not attend.

It had been hinted over the weekend that the Queen was unlikely to attend Derby Day and Buckingham Palace confirmed on Friday afternoon that the monarch would not be at the track and would instead likely be watching the race on TV at Windsor Castle.

The course is still said to honor the Queen, with 40 riders who have ridden for the owner-breeder, wearing the royal silks to form an honor guard while some of her former racehorses will parade the course.

Epsom tweeted: “Wishing Her Majesty The Queen a wonderful Platinum Jubilee. It’s rare that the Queen is unable to attend Epsom Downs, but we’re delighted that she plans to enjoy Derby Day on TV.

“We have grand plans to celebrate Her Majesty’s contribution to horse racing and the nation and these will continue in full force tomorrow.”

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles stand on the balcony of Buckingham Palace yesterday to watch a special flyby (Image: Daniel Leal/AFP via Getty Images)

Is the queen sick?

Buckingham Palace does not generally provide information on the Queen’s health as medical matters are private.

On the advice of royal doctors, the Queen withdrew from the opening ceremony of Parliament earlier this month because of her “episodic movement problems”.

The monarch has missed a number of royal engagements since autumn 2021.

This relatively sudden onset of illness has led some people to wonder if an acute illness might be to blame for the mobility issues they’re suffering from, rather than simply ‘age’.

Has the Queen managed to attend any anniversary events?

The Queen took center stage at her Jubilee celebrations on Thursday, greeting the crowd from the balcony of Buckingham Palace surrounded by her family.

Members of the public fill the Mall before a flyby during the Trooping the Color ceremony

Wearing sunglasses, the 96-year-old Sovereign looked happy as she surveyed the crowd and smiled broadly as she enjoyed the aircraft display.

It was the second of two appearances by the monarch on Thursday on the balcony – the beginning of an extended anniversary weekend on the occasion of her 70th reign.

She previously joined her cousin, the Duke of Kent, on the famous front line to greet her soldiers returning from Trooping the Color after the Prince of Wales represented them on the parade ground.

The Queen limited those on the balcony for flyover time to working members of her family, her Cambridge great-grandchildren and two youngest grandchildren – a move she took after “careful consideration”, the palace said.

It meant there was no place for the Sussexes, who caused a royal crisis by stepping down as senior royals, or for the Queen’s disgraced second son, the Duke of York. Platinum Jubilee: Why is the Queen missing Epsom Derby?


Hung is a Interreviewed U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Hung joined Interreviewed in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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