Platinum Jubilee: Animal rights activists protest at Epsom Derby as Princess Anne watches races

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Animal rights activists were removed by police at Epsom Derby Day as the Princess Royal and her family watched on.

Pro-vegan climate group Animal Rebellion claimed six women made it on to the track while wearing sashes reading "Animal Justice" just before the Cazoo Derby at 4.30pm.

The women fell to the floor as dozens of officers worked to move them.

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Activists from the same group were arrested on Thursday after entering the ceremonial route on The Mall before Trooping the Colour,

Epsom crowds cheered as the activists were taken away, with a voice on a Tannoy apologising to spectators.

The group said the protest was aimed at making "a definitive statement, and act, against the cruelty and harm the horseracing industry represents".

Orla Coghlan, one of those there, said: "Horseracing took the lives of 220 animals on racecourses in the UK last year, and this is just the tip of the iceberg."

The Princess Royal attended Derby Day with her husband Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence and children Peter Phillips and Zara Tindall, who was with husband, former rugby player Mike.

Tributes including a guard of honour were paid to the Queen as the monarch opted to watch festivities from Windsor Castle.

The Princess Royal appeared in the royal box to represent the Queen, laughing, smiling and waving her thanks to the crowds.

Jubilee celebrations took place in the Queen's absence, with 40 jockeys who have ridden for the owner-breeder donning the royal racing silks and forming a guard of honour before the national anthem was sung.

Five of the monarch's former racehorses were also paraded, and a selection of hats inspired by the seven decades of her reign have been displayed.

The monarch had to pull out of attending Saturday's races due to "episodic mobility issues", opting to view it on television from Windsor Castle, where she has been sent a souvenir race card to follow the action.

The Queen's hopes of winning this year's Derby were dashed earlier in May when her horse Reach For The Moon, who was among the favourites, and two others, were withdrawn.

Thoroughbreds owned by the Queen have won four out 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.

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