, Derby fans hope to back a winner on flat facing’s biggest day, The Nzuchi Times

Derby fans hope to back a winner on flat facing’s biggest day

Epsom Derby’s 4,000 fans hope to back a winner on flat facing’s biggest day – although Covid rules mean the Queen has stayed away.

Due to social distancing restrictions, the famous hill where thousands gather to watch the horses at Epsom Downs racecourse in Surrey is closed entirely.

Instead, the derby’s 4,000 ticket holders are restricted to one area, which is just a quarter of its usual size.

It is because of these stringent Covid rules – including mandatory mask wearing – that the Queen is set to opt to skip her tradition trip to the derby this year. 

Reports claim Her Majesty fears it won’t be the same with restrictions in place. 

Bolshoi Ballet is the punters’ choice to give trainer Aidan O’Brien a ninth Epsom Derby win. 

But it is John Leeper – a horse named after the late two-time Derby winning trainer John Leeper Dunlop and trained by his son Ed – who may well attract the more romantically-inclined punters.

The limited crowd numbers today are a far cry from the 36,000-strong racegoers in 2019.   

, Derby fans hope to back a winner on flat facing’s biggest day, The Nzuchi Times

, Derby fans hope to back a winner on flat facing’s biggest day, The Nzuchi Times

Epsom Derby’s 4,000 fans (some pictured) hope to back a winner on horse racing’s biggest day – although Covid rules mean the Queen has stayed away

, Derby fans hope to back a winner on flat facing’s biggest day, The Nzuchi Times

, Derby fans hope to back a winner on flat facing’s biggest day, The Nzuchi Times

Due to social distancing restrictions, the famous hill where thousands gather to watch the horses at Epsom Downs racecourse in Surrey was closed entirely. Pictured: People inside the race course

, Derby fans hope to back a winner on flat facing’s biggest day, The Nzuchi Times

, Derby fans hope to back a winner on flat facing’s biggest day, The Nzuchi Times

Jockey Frankie Dettori during day two of the Cazoo Derby Festival at Epsom Racecourse

, Derby fans hope to back a winner on flat facing’s biggest day, The Nzuchi Times

, Derby fans hope to back a winner on flat facing’s biggest day, The Nzuchi Times

The Parachute Regiment’s Red Devils performed at Epsom Downs Racecourse today

, Derby fans hope to back a winner on flat facing’s biggest day, The Nzuchi Times

, Derby fans hope to back a winner on flat facing’s biggest day, The Nzuchi Times

Racegoers cut stylish figures during day two of the Cazoo Derby Festival at Epsom Racecourse

Today’s warm weather is a welcome sight for visitors, many of whom were battered by rain on Friday’s Ladies Day. 

Last year, the race was held with behind closed doors, with racing fans urged to watch from home with socially-distanced friends and family.

It was initially due to take place on June 6, but pandemic restrictions pushed it back to July 4. 

, Derby fans hope to back a winner on flat facing’s biggest day, The Nzuchi Times

, Derby fans hope to back a winner on flat facing’s biggest day, The Nzuchi Times

Piers Morgan (centre), Celia Walden (right) and Lauren Silverman (left) during day two of the Cazoo Derby Festival at Epsom Racecourse

, Derby fans hope to back a winner on flat facing’s biggest day, The Nzuchi Times

, Derby fans hope to back a winner on flat facing’s biggest day, The Nzuchi Times

Epsom Derby’s first day will kick off with 4,000 spectators today after a behind-closed-doors event in 2020 – a far cry from the 36,000-strong crowds in 2019

, Derby fans hope to back a winner on flat facing’s biggest day, The Nzuchi Times

, Derby fans hope to back a winner on flat facing’s biggest day, The Nzuchi Times

Instead, the derby’s 4,000 ticket holders (some pictured)  are restricted to one area, which is just a quarter of its usual size

, Derby fans hope to back a winner on flat facing’s biggest day, The Nzuchi Times

, Derby fans hope to back a winner on flat facing’s biggest day, The Nzuchi Times

Glammed up racegoers in hats and summer dresses were seen arriving at the racecourse today

, Derby fans hope to back a winner on flat facing’s biggest day, The Nzuchi Times

, Derby fans hope to back a winner on flat facing’s biggest day, The Nzuchi Times

Many opted for extravagant head pieces as they waited for the races to begin

An avid horse racing fan herself, Her Majesty believes it will not be a ‘traditional Derby day’ as Covid rules – including mandatory face masks – remain in place, royal sources have reportedly said.

Instead, the monarch, 95, will watch the famous race on television from the comfort of Windsor Castle, according to the Telegraph.

One source told the paper: ‘It’s a Derby, but it’s not a traditional Derby day. 

‘It’s not going to be what it normally is so the Queen has decided she would rather watch it at home.’ 

The Queen is also likely to miss Royal Ascot later this month, the paper adds, though it is believed she may attend on specific days if one of her own horses is running.

, Derby fans hope to back a winner on flat facing’s biggest day, The Nzuchi Times

, Derby fans hope to back a winner on flat facing’s biggest day, The Nzuchi Times

Her Majesty – an avid horse racing fan – believes it will not be a ‘traditional Derby day’ this year due to restrictions, royal sourced reportedly say. Pictured: The Queen with racing manager John Warren and Princess Michael of Kent at Epsom in 2015

, Derby fans hope to back a winner on flat facing’s biggest day, The Nzuchi Times

, Derby fans hope to back a winner on flat facing’s biggest day, The Nzuchi Times

Instead, the monarch, 95, will watch the famous race on television from the comfort of Windsor Castle, according to the Telegraph. Pictured: Yesterday’s Cazoo Derby Festival Handicap at Epsom

The event was held behind closed doors last year, meaning it was the first time in the Queen’s reign she had not attended the event. 

Meanwhile, if she does miss the Derby at Epsom, it will be for just the fourth time in 75 years.

Though an avid watcher of the Derby, it remains the only major classic British race not won by one of the Queen’s horses. 

The closest she came to having a winning horse in the famous race was in 1953 – the year of her coronation – when her horse Aureole finished second.

She has only missed three Derby events in person in the last 75 years – one of which was last year due to Covid.

, Derby fans hope to back a winner on flat facing’s biggest day, The Nzuchi Times

, Derby fans hope to back a winner on flat facing’s biggest day, The Nzuchi Times

Simon Cowell and his wife Lauren Silverman lead the celebrities at the Surrey race course as they were joined by their son Eric, seven, and Lauren’s son Adam, 15

, Derby fans hope to back a winner on flat facing’s biggest day, The Nzuchi Times

, Derby fans hope to back a winner on flat facing’s biggest day, The Nzuchi Times

The family enjoyed the races from a box with friends. Doting dad Simon lifted up little Eric so he could see over the glass

, Derby fans hope to back a winner on flat facing’s biggest day, The Nzuchi Times

, Derby fans hope to back a winner on flat facing’s biggest day, The Nzuchi Times

Lauren donned a white dress and fascinator while little Eric sported a open collar shirt and suit

, Derby fans hope to back a winner on flat facing’s biggest day, The Nzuchi Times

, Derby fans hope to back a winner on flat facing’s biggest day, The Nzuchi Times

One racegoer sported a lace and tulle number bold opting for one of the summer’s most daring trends

, Derby fans hope to back a winner on flat facing’s biggest day, The Nzuchi Times

, Derby fans hope to back a winner on flat facing’s biggest day, The Nzuchi Times

Purple perfection: Another racegoer opted for a lace sheet strapless number and pink clutch bag which while her partner sported a baby blue tie

The monarch also missed the 1984 Derby, when she was in France for a D-Day anniversary and in 1956, when she made a state visit to Sweden.

, Derby fans hope to back a winner on flat facing’s biggest day, The Nzuchi Times

Held at Epsom Downs Racecourse in Surrey, the Derby was first run in 1780.

It is Britain’s richest flat horse race, and the most prestigious of the five Classics – the other four of which are the 2,000 Guineas Stakes, the 1,000 Guineas Stakes, the Epsom Oaks, and the St Leger Stakes. 

This year’s event will be restricted due to Covid. The famous hill, where up to 100,000 people normally stand to watch the race, will be closed. 

And the ticketed area will be limited to just a quarter of its usual size.

But that – and a deluge of rain – did little to puit of thousands of glamorous racegoers who flocked to Epsom Downs for Ladies’ Day yesterday.

, Derby fans hope to back a winner on flat facing’s biggest day, The Nzuchi Times

, Derby fans hope to back a winner on flat facing’s biggest day, The Nzuchi Times

Racegoers cheered during a ‘Beaten by a Length’ race during the Oaks day of the Derby Festival at the Epsom Downs Racecourse (pictured)

, Derby fans hope to back a winner on flat facing’s biggest day, The Nzuchi Times

, Derby fans hope to back a winner on flat facing’s biggest day, The Nzuchi Times

, Derby fans hope to back a winner on flat facing’s biggest day, The Nzuchi Times

, Derby fans hope to back a winner on flat facing’s biggest day, The Nzuchi Times

Some braved the downpour in bare legs and open toe heels while trying desperately to keep their hair dry by taking cover underneath an umbrella

Prince Charles to host the first major investiture ceremony since the pandemic began at St James’s – NOT Buckingham Palace 

Knighthoods and MBEs will be given out in person at the first major investiture ceremony since the start of the Covid pandemic, it has today been announced.

But the event, in which Prince Charles will hand out the honours, will not take place at Buckingham Palace.

Instead, the event, due to take place on June 23, will be staged a short distance away at St James’s Palace.

Buckingham Palace – the Queen‘s official London residence – is normally the venue for many of the ceremonies.

But the first is being held at St James’s Palace because of on-going work to update the services at the royal residence.

Around 100 recipients are usually awarded their honours, from knighthoods to MBEs, at investitures.

But it is understood the groups will be smaller to comply with Covid guidelines.

Windsor Castle, where the Queen has spent much of the pandemic, will also be the venue for a number of ceremonies.

Letters have been sent to recipients of honours informing them investitures will be resuming.

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With umbrellas in hand, many refused to let the rain dampen their spirits and were seen getting into the party spirit early, with glasses of Pimms and mini bottles of Moet Champage flowing.

Yesterday was the first of two days of racing at Epsom Downs. Derby Day, one of the biggest occasions of the summer calendar, will take place today.

The news of the Queen’s decision to stay at home for Derby Day came as Buckingham Palace last night revealed that Knighthoods and MBEs will be given out in person next month, at the first major investiture ceremony since the start of the Covid pandemic.

But the event, in which Prince Charles will hand out the honours, will not take place at Buckingham Palace.

Instead, the event, due to take place on June 23, will be staged a short distance away at St James’s Palace.

Buckingham Palace – the Queen’s official London residence – is normally the venue for many of the ceremonies.

But the first is being held at St James’s Palace because of on-going work to update the services at the royal residence.

Around 100 recipients are usually awarded their honours, from knighthoods to MBEs, at investitures.

But it is understood the groups will be smaller to comply with Covid guidelines.

Windsor Castle, where the Queen has spent much of the pandemic, will also be the venue for a number of ceremonies.

Letters have been sent to recipients of honours informing them investitures will be resuming.

The announcement comes after it was revealed yesterday that The Queen will meet US President Joe Biden and his wife Jill on June 13.

In a statement released yesterday it was confirmed that Her Majesty will host the president and First Lady at Windsor Castle next Sunday.

Mr Biden, 78, will meet the Queen, 95, after his stay in Cornwall for the G7 summit, which runs from June 11 to June 13.

He will be the 13th American president the Queen has met since ascending to the throne in 1953.

There is speculation that the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall will also meet the American couple at some point during their visit to the UK.

The meeting comes just months after Mr Biden was sworn-in as president – a stark contrast to his predecessor Donald Trump who didn’t meet the Queen for two years.

Trump eventually visited in July 2018 – with his now-infamous meeting with Her Majesty seeing him break royal protocol on several occasions.

Earlier this week it was revealed that Britons will enjoy a four-day bank holiday next summer to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee as the nation marks her 70 years on the throne.

Buckingham Palace said 2022’s extended break will run from Thursday, June 2 to Sunday, June 5 after the May bank holiday – which would have been on Monday, May 30 – was pushed back.

The celebration will be marked with national events including a live concert featuring some of the world’s biggest stars to a service of thanksgiving – and a day at the races.

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