Queen to miss Epsom Derby for just third time as she plans to ‘pace herself’ over Jubilee weekend

Queen will miss the Epsom Derby for the third time in her reign in order to ‘pace herself’ over the Jubilee weekend, but will defy mobility struggles to make TWO balcony appearances

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The Queen plans to miss the Epsom Derby for just the third time of her reign in order to ‘pace herself’ for her upcoming Platinum Jubilee festivities.  

Reports suggest Her Majesty will be skipping the Saturday event with the Princess Royal representing the family on her behalf.

Sources close to the Queen, 96, indicated it is becoming ‘increasingly unlikely’ she will make the trip to Epsom during the four-day celebrations next weekend that will mark her 70 year reign.

Amid her ‘episodic mobility concerns’, one royal source told the Times that Her Majesty made the decision to help ‘pace herself’ as she rests at Balmoral in Scotland.

The only two prior times the Queen has not attended Epsom were in 1956, while visiting Sweden on official duties and in 1984 when she marked the 40th anniversary of the D-Day landings in France.

It comes as the monarch plans to put on a show of the resilience that has come to mark her record-breaking reign after vowing to make two appearances on the Buckingham Palace balcony on Thursday, the first day of her Jubilee celebrations.

The appearances – which come despite recent mobility problems – will take place during Her Majesty’s official Birthday Parade, the start of the four-day bank holiday weekend.

A Royal source said: ‘The Queen is determined to take part in the Jubilee celebrations. Trooping was brought forward by one week to be part of the Jubilee this year and the Queen very much wants to be part of it.’

Crowds are expected to line the Mall to watch as the colour – or flag – is trooped by the 1st Battalion Irish Guards plus more than 1,500 officers and soldiers from the Household Division.

Her Majesty, pictured at Epsom in 2019, last missed the event in 1984 when she was in France on official duties

Her Majesty, pictured at Epsom in 2019, last missed the event in 1984 when she was in France on official duties

Reports suggest Her Majesty will be skipping the Saturday event with the Princess Royal representing the family on her behalf

Reports suggest Her Majesty will be skipping the Saturday event with the Princess Royal representing the family on her behalf

Sources close to the Queen, 96, indicated it is becoming 'increasingly unlikely' she will make the trip to Epsom during the four-day celebrations next weekend that will mark her 70 year reign. Pictured above: Her Majesty watch the Derby Day race in 2017

Sources close to the Queen, 96, indicated it is becoming ‘increasingly unlikely’ she will make the trip to Epsom during the four-day celebrations next weekend that will mark her 70 year reign. Pictured above: Her Majesty watch the Derby Day race in 2017

In a show of the resilience that has marked her record-breaking reign, the Queen has vowed to make two appearances on the Buckingham Palace balcony on Thursday, the first day of her Jubilee celebrations

In a show of the resilience that has marked her record-breaking reign, the Queen has vowed to make two appearances on the Buckingham Palace balcony on Thursday, the first day of her Jubilee celebrations

The Queen will later return to the balcony with more family members joining her to watch the RAF flypast at the close of the parade. The Mall pictured on May 22 ahead of next week's festivities

The Queen will later return to the balcony with more family members joining her to watch the RAF flypast at the close of the parade. The Mall pictured on May 22 ahead of next week’s festivities

The trio of horses entered by the Queen – a racing fanatic who is believed to own in excess of 100 racehorses – for the Derby had previously been withdrawn. 

The guard of honour celebrating her current and former jockeys, donning her red, gold and purple silk, alongside a parade of her former racehorses is expected to still go ahead over the weekend.

Meanwhile, more than 350 horses and hundreds of military musicians will be involved in the procession, in which members of the Royal Family will travel on horseback and in carriages down the Mall to Horse Guards Parade, where the ceremony takes place.

This year marks a radical departure from the usual traditions that govern the 260-year-old occasion. Rather than inspecting the troops herself – a duty the Queen has undertaken every year of her reign – Her Majesty has reluctantly agreed to scale back her involvement and instead plans to appear on the balcony of Buckingham Palace beside her cousin the Duke of Kent to take the salute as the guards return to barracks.

The Prince of Wales will stand in for the Queen, inspecting the troops on horseback.

The Queen will later return to the balcony with more family members joining her to watch the RAF flypast at the close of the parade.

Buckingham Palace announced that ‘after careful consideration’ the Queen would not invite the Duke of York or the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to join her as they were no longer working members of the Royal Family.

A Palace spokesman said the Royal balcony appearances would be limited to members of the Royal Family ‘who are currently undertaking official public duties on behalf of the Queen’.

The Royal Family pictured  on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to watch a fly-past of aircraft by the Royal Air Force during the last Trooping The Colour, the Queen's annual birthday parade, on 8 June 2019

The Royal Family pictured  on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to watch a fly-past of aircraft by the Royal Air Force during the last Trooping The Colour, the Queen’s annual birthday parade, on 8 June 2019

The Queen (pictured) went to the Chelsea Flower Show earlier this week where she was taken around on her chauffeur-driven golf buggy

The Queen (pictured) went to the Chelsea Flower Show earlier this week where she was taken around on her chauffeur-driven golf buggy

CORGIS ARE STILL TOP DOGS 

Corgis have surged in popularity – thanks to the Jubilee and Netflix’s The Crown

Corgis have surged in popularity – thanks to the Jubilee and Netflix’s The Crown

Corgis have surged in popularity – thanks to the Jubilee and Netflix’s The Crown.

More than 1,200 puppies were registered with the Kennel Club last year, the highest number in nearly 30 years.

A spokesman said: ‘The Queen played an integral part in introducing the corgi to the public consciousness.’

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They include the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with their children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, the Earl and Countess of Wessex with their children Lady Louise and Viscount James, Princess Anne and her husband Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke of Kent and Princess Alexandra.

The first clear sign of a change to the traditional arrangements came yesterday when Prince William carried out the Colonel’s Review of the Irish Guards, regarded as a dress rehearsal for the main trooping ceremony.

The Queen’s dais, from which she would have been expected to watch the ceremony, was missing.

It will be a source of sadness to the Queen not to play her usual role in what will be the first full-scale Trooping the Colour since 2019.

The past two years have seen a dramatically reduced trooping ceremony staged in the quadrangle at Windsor Castle rather than at Horse Guards Parade, a result of Covid restrictions.

Tonight, the Queen’s late husband Prince Philip will be remembered in a feature-length BBC documentary to celebrate the Jubilee.

Her Majesty, who has watched the documentary and is believed to have given it approval, has provided a voiceover for the film. Other sections of audio are spliced over private home videos provided by the Queen to make the film.

In one section, the Queen can be heard saying of Philip: ‘That mischievous, inquiring twinkle was as bright at the end as when I first set eyes on him.’

A Royal source said: ‘The Queen is determined to take part in the Jubilee celebrations. Trooping was brought forward by one week to be part of the Jubilee this year and the Queen very much wants to be part of it’ (Piccadilly Circus pictured on Friday ahead of Jubilee)

A Royal source said: ‘The Queen is determined to take part in the Jubilee celebrations. Trooping was brought forward by one week to be part of the Jubilee this year and the Queen very much wants to be part of it’ (Piccadilly Circus pictured on Friday ahead of Jubilee)

 

£200million splurge on Royal memorabilia 

Britons are predicted to spend more than £200 million on Platinum Jubilee souvenirs and gifts.

Around six million mugs, ten million flags and one million books and portraits of the Queen are expected to be snapped up, according to the Centre for Retail Research.

Halcyon Days, which makes fine china in Stoke-on-Trent and is one of just 14 firms to hold three Royal Warrants, is selling £825 hand-crafted enamel boxes featuring a 1956 Cecil Beaton portrait of the Queen and bone china mugs decorated with iconic red telephone boxes for £39.

Britons are predicted to spend more than £200 million on Platinum Jubilee souvenirs and gifts. Pictured is memorabilia in a shop ahead of the 70th anniversary

Britons are predicted to spend more than £200 million on Platinum Jubilee souvenirs and gifts. Pictured is memorabilia in a shop ahead of the 70th anniversary

However, other firms are looking to cash in on the spending splurge with some rather more unusual offerings. Royal enthusiasts can have the Queen watching over them while they sleep by installing ‘wacky and wild’ Jubilee blinds from BlindsbyPost.

Gym enthusiasts can jump into a pair of Jubilee leggings for £48, with each leg bearing a full-length pastel portrait of the Queen, and a firm in Canterbury is selling Queen and Corgi salt and pepper shakers for £6.50.

For the truly dedicated collector, there are 10,000 items of memorabilia produced in China, each mistakenly embossed with ‘Platinum Jubbly’ instead of Jubilee. The cups, mugs and plates were snapped up by the Wholesale Clearance website. Boss Karl Baxter said: ‘What could be more unique than our misprinted crockery?’

The Queen, pictured at the Royal Windsor Horse Show at Home Park, Windsor Castle, where she used a walking stick to help with mobility

The Queen, pictured at the Royal Windsor Horse Show at Home Park, Windsor Castle, where she used a walking stick to help with mobility

 

Party ban ‘because closed roads are confusing’ 

A ‘party-pooper’ council has banned nine street parties for reasons including fears that ‘road closed’ signs may confuse drivers.

Locals in Merewood Road, Barnehurst, had their request for it to be closed rejected by Bexley Council in South-East London – even though it appears to fit the bill as it is lined with houses, buses do not use it and traffic can be diverted easily to a neighbouring road.

The council said a mini-roundabout at one end would make a diversion confusing. But resident Joanne Baker said: ‘The council are being party-poopers. We had bunting ordered and… we’d have had a bouncy castle for the kids, but that’s not happening as we’ve had to scale back plans.’

When householders said they would instead hold parties in their front gardens, which do not require permission, the council warned them not to gather on pavements.

A party on Langdale Crescent in Bexleyheath was stopped when the council said gas works had been booked first, while an event on Maiden Lane in Crayford was ruled out when officials said a road diversion was not suitable, despite an alternative route close by.

The council said it had approved 140 other road closures.

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