The Queen watches the Epsom Derby in ‘comfortable clothes’ at Windsor – Zara Tindall
The Queen will watch Derby day from Epsom at home in ‘comfortable clothes’, her granddaughter Zara Tindall has said.
The monarch did not attend the major sporting event on Saturday, opting to watch it on television from Windsor Castle, where she received a souvenir racing card to follow the action.
However, the Queen was a winner elsewhere in Worcester, as Royal Silks were lifted to victory by 7-2 luck Steal A March, with the Head of State keeping an eye on races across the country.
Zara arrived at the sold-out Surrey Racecourse alongside her husband, former rugby player Mike, just before 1pm as part of a procession, which included her mother the Princess Royal and her husband the vice -Admiral Sir Tim Laurence and his brother Peter Phillips.
She said: “She’ll be watching on TV – she’s got a few runners today scattered around the country so she knows exactly what’s going on.
“She’ll just be sitting on the couch watching TV. She will be in her comfortable clothes.
Peter was pictured with his girlfriend, who has been named in numerous reports as Lindsay Wallace, although it’s rare for a royal’s girlfriend to attend a high-profile event.
Crowds cheered and waved union flags as they made their way to the course, with Anne seen smiling.
She appeared in the royal box as the national anthem was played by a band.
Then, we could see Anne wave and laugh, while thanking those around her for their warm welcome.
The Princess then received a painting from Dunfermline, winner of The Oaks Race in 1977, as a gift to the monarch.
Peter, Zara and Mike could be seen on the balcony of the royal box during the second race of the day, although no celebrations took place after filly Bashkirova’s victory.
Jubilee celebrations took place in the Queen’s absence, with 40 jockeys who rode for the owner-breeder donning royal racing silks and forming a guard of honor before the national anthem was sung.
Five of the monarch’s former racehorses also paraded and a selection of hats inspired by the seven decades of her reign were on display.
Asked about the royal motorcade arriving through an honor guard of the Queen’s past and present jockeys, Zara said: ‘It was amazing. It was so nice to see so many faces. It was funny to see them trying to get into the colors, all retirees.
“Obviously we would like her (the Queen) to be here. But it’s nice to be here. I’ve never been to Epsom before. It’s exciting. I need to go explore .
Mike added: ‘The Queen is such a wonderful woman and I’ve said that many times but as far as how you want a leader to be she is that person and someone who gives the example.
“It’s such a shame she’s not here with us, but I know she’ll be listening and watching from home.”
Frankie Dettori and Willie Carson, who have ridden some of the Queen’s most memorable winners, lined part of the course with the other jockeys.
Describing for BBC News the pride he felt while riding for the Queen in her racing colours, Dettori said: “Every time you see these (colours) on your ankle, you (have) this feeling of importance and it is a great honour.
“Listen, she’s a huge horse racing lover, and as you say, she’s only missed the Derby twice.
“But I’m sure today she will find a TV and watch it live because she loves the Derby so much.
“She’s been breeding horses for over 60 years, she knows all the bloodlines and she’s won a lot of races and she’s very knowledgeable.”
Carson said: “She (the Queen) is the patroness of the races and she has been a great boon to horse racing.
“His racing is his passion and anyone interested in the royal family will understand that his hobby is his horses.”
Famous faces in attendance included Downton Abbey star Jim Carter and his wife, actress Imelda Staunton, comedian Lee Mack and tennis coach Judy Murray.
Staunton, who plays the monarch in the upcoming series of The Crown, said: “I am very honored to be in a place which the Queen obviously loves very much – her great passion is horses.
“I know there’s a big pop concert tonight, but I don’t think it was his passion. It’s her passion, so it’s very nice to be here, somewhere she really loves.
It comes after Queen’s only runner, Just Fine, was removed from the World Pool Northern Dancer Handicap during the 48-hour declaration stage on Thursday.
His hopes of winning the Derby were dashed earlier in May when his horse Reach For The Moon, which was among the favorites, and two others were withdrawn.
The Queen-owned Thoroughbreds have won four 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.