Queen to miss Epsom Derby after ‘reluctantly’ pulling out of St Paul’s service

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Queen to miss Epsom Derby after ‘reluctantly’ pulling out of St Paul’s service
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The Queen will not attend the Epsom Derby in what will be the second event Her Majesty will have missed since the start of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

Buckingham Palace announced on Friday afternoon that the 96-year-old monarch would not attend Saturday’s showpiece event amid ongoing mobility issues. Princess Anne is expected to officially represent Her Majesty at Saturday’s Derby as the Royal Family celebrates the third day of the Jubilee weekend.

Late on Thursday, Buckingham Palace announced the Queen would miss the service at St Paul’s on Friday morning after suffering “some discomfort” during Thursday’s celebrations.

The statement issued by the palace on Thursday evening said: “The Queen greatly enjoyed today’s Birthday Parade and flypast but did experience some discomfort.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

“Taking into account the journey and activity required to participate in tomorrow’s national service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral, Her Majesty with great reluctance has concluded that she will not attend.

“The Queen is looking forward to participating in tonight’s beacon lighting event at Windsor Castle and would like to thank all those who made today such a memorable occasion.”

The Queen did not travel to Horse Guards Parade to watch the Trooping the Colour, but was seen on the balcony of Buckingham Palace with the Duke of Kent, 86, as the pair took the salute of the returning Household Division.

Her Majesty then watched with her son, great-grandchildren, and other royals as the RAF performed the traditional fly-past over Buckingham Palace.

Platinum Jubilee 2022: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at National Service of Thanksgiving

Although the longstanding monarch lit a Jubilee beacon on Thursday evening, it is understood the decision to miss the service at St Paul’s was made due to the length of the journey and physical demands the service would require.

Indeed, a number of military servicemen collapsed on the steps of the cathderal as attendees arrived for the service.

Instead, Prince Charles, 73, led a large number of royals and dignatories who attended the service at the iconic London building. Her Majesty is understood to have watched proceedings from Windsor Castle, and will watch Saturday’s races from there too.

Prince Harry, 37, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, 40, also attended the service. It was the pair’s first official engagement in the UK for two years after stepping down as senior members of the Royal Family, and they were largely met with cheers from the onlooking crowd as they entered Sir Christopher Wren’s masterpiece to give thanks for the monarch’s 70 years on the throne.

Platinum Jubilee 2022: National Service of Thanksgiving

The loudest cheers, however, were reserved for Prince William, 39, and Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, 40, who this time, left their three children - Louis, Charlotte and George - at home after the trio made an appearance on the balcony of the palace on Thursday.

William and Kate later joined officials at a luncheon at the Guildhall held by the Lord Mayor of London. Former Prime Minister Theresa May attended the lunch, along with Boris Johnson, who received a more mixed welcome at St Paul’s earlier in the day.

It is not yet clear whether the Queen will attend the Platinum Party at the Palace on Saturday, which will round off day three of the Platinum Jubilee weekend.

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