The Queen Attends Epsom Derby as Jubilee Celebrations Begin
Queen Elizabeth’s arrival at Epsom Derby today marked the beginning of four day Diamond Jubilee festivities that promise unforgettable and once in a lifetime experience. The day began with the gun salutes fired across the country, marking the exact anniversary of Her Majesty’s coronation. The salutes included a 41-gun salute by the King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery at Horse Guards Parade in London, and a 21 gun salute at Windsor Castle.
Shortly after, the 86-year-old Monarch arrived at Epsom Derby, one of Britain’s most prestigious horse races. A jubilant crowd of more than 120,000 greeted their Queen as she arrived at the racecourse. Welsh singer Katherine Jenkins sang the national anthem, accompanied by the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Portsmouth; when the anthem ended, a huge cheer went up. The Red Devils, a British Army display team, performed a spectacular parachute fall; the man from the Parachute Regiment made a pin-point landing, carrying a huge Union Jack flag. Ashleigh Butler and her dog Pudsey, winners of this year’s Britain’s Got Talent, performed tricks to the delights of the crowd.
The Queen, fittingly wearing royal blue, had plenty of support from her family today; she arrived accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, the Duke of York, the Earl and Countess of Wessex, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie of York (who sported a patriotic Union Jack nail polish), the Duke and Duchess of Gloucesters, and Prince and Princess Michael of Kent. Her Majesty rarely misses attending the Epsom Derby – one of the highlights of the racing calendar. Unlike last year, she didn’t have a horse entered in the Derby; however, that did not prevent her from enjoying the wonderful day. Queen Elizabeth is a keen horse rider and breeder; while few personal details are known about the discreet Monarch, it has often been reported that she reads the Racing Post sports newspaper over breakfast each morning.
Whole of Britain is now engulfed in a surge of patriotism and enthusiasm for the monarchy; as celebrations officially kicked in, community parties were held across the country, while thousands of people paraded through the city of Perth to mark the occasion. The main festivities will arguably be tomorrow, when the eagerly-awaited Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant will take place. Hundreds of people are already camping in tents beside the Thames ahead of the pageant of about 1,000 boats that will sail through London on Sunday. The Queen will be aboard the royal barge decked with 10,000 flowers.
To read more about Diamond Jubilee, visit this thread – The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Celebrations 2012. To read more about Diamond Jubilee Weekend, visit this thread – The Diamond Jubilee Weekend – 2-5 June 2012. To read more about the upcoming Pageant, visit this thread – The Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant, 3 June 2012. And finally, to make sure you don’t miss any of the festivities and to know when they are happening, be sure to visit this thread – The Diamond Jubilee Broadcast Times.Filed under British Royals
Tagged Elizabeth II, Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee, Epsom Derby, Horse Racing, Sport.