ALL stops are being made to ensure the Queen can attend the Epsom Derby on her Jubilee with the aim of making the ‘ultimate end of the fairy tale’ come true.
The traditional pattern of her visits has been abandoned and every effort is being made to minimize pressure on her limited mobility – in the hope that the horse-crazed monarch can finally see a winner go home in her favorite race.
Her Maj, who turns 96 tomorrow, is traditionally led onto the racecourse for a short five-metre walk to the Queen’s Stand.
But this year she is expected to be dropped off next to the front doors and out of public view so she can take the lift, with assistance if needed, to the Royal Box in as few steps “as possible”.
The passionate horse lover, who has only missed the Derby four times in 75 years, arranged for three of her best horses to enter the race on her jubilee, giving her the best chance of win the trophy.
None of the Queen’s thoroughbreds have ever won the prestigious event – she came closest just four days after her coronation in 1953, when Aureole, who was bred by her father, was styled at the post.
Legendary jockey Willie Carson has told The Sun that everyone involved in the sport is desperate for the end of the ‘fairy tale’ to happen for the Queen. He said: “You never know. Him upstairs might just think it’s time she had a Derby winner.
“She never had a Derby winner, she had the second with Aureole in 1953. I remember when I got my OBE at Buckingham Palace.
“I was honored to have him, of course.
“The Queen was handling the handover. I walked up to her and said, ‘Madam, I think I’m going to win the Derby for you next year. I found one”.
Royal hat-trick in the Derby
THE Queen has three horses in this year’s Derby, including 10/1 third favorite Reach For The Moon.
He was bred at Royal Stud Sandringham and won the Group 3 Solario Stakes at Sandown Park last year.
Reach for the Moon – trained by John and Thady Gosden – is a son of former Derby winner Sea the Stars.
The other two queen contenders, 50-1 shot Educator and 100-1 underdog General Idea, are both coached by William Haggas.
” He did not do it. He finished fifth. He was a very good horse, but he was not good enough to win the Derby.”
A 40-man honor guard is expected to be made up of the Queen’s past and present jockeys dressed in her purple and gold racing silks.
The Queen’s Stand will also be renamed the Queen Elizabeth II Stand as another special touch on Derby Day, June 4.
A source said plans were in place for the Queen to take as little action as possible.
They added: ‘She is unlikely to make the short walk she has done in previous years, but the honor guard will line this area and the national anthem will still be sung at the top of its voice.
“She also probably won’t present the trophy like she usually does.
“Conversations are constantly going on about her mobility, but she could be taken straight to the entrance to the stand and take the lift to the Royal Box.
“She could then sit in the box on a balcony.
“Everyone wants it to be even more special this year and it will be the best chance for members of the public to see it, so we are expecting a huge buzz around the Downs.”
The Derby – known as the biggest and most prestigious flat race in the world – is the only one of five ‘Classics’ Her Majesty has yet to win as a racehorse owner.
Everyone wants it to be even more special this year and it will be the best chance for members of the public to see it, so we are expecting a huge buzz around the Downs.
Hopes are also growing that the Queen will perform the official opening of Parliament next month, despite her fragile health.
Parliamentary sources say she is in full preparation to attend her annual speech to MPs and peers on May 10, despite fears for her health.
But Prince Charles is on “standby” in case Her Majesty does not feel ready to complete the long engagement.
A Commons source told The Sun: ‘The Lords expect the Queen to continue with the official opening of Parliament as usual.
“They think she will.”
The glitzy event – full of pomp and ceremony – marks the official start of the parliamentary year.
The Queen is taken to Parliament in a gold-encrusted horse-drawn carriage before traveling to the House of Lords where she reads the Queen’s Speech setting out the laws of government for the next year.
In their 70-year reign, the Queen has only missed the event twice – when she was pregnant with Prince Andrew and Prince Edward – but this will likely be the last time she does.
There were growing concerns that she would have to pull out of this year’s event amid fears for her health.
Commons authorities have been told Prince Charles will be at his mother’s side to help her through the old corridors of Parliament.
If she doesn’t feel ready to deliver the Queen’s Speech, he will step in.