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Queen's racehorse stripped of Gold Cup placing after positive drugs test

Estimate tested positive for morphine in July. Credit: PA

A racehorse owned by the Queen has been stripped of its second place finish in this year's Ascot Gold Cup following a positive drugs test.

Estimate was one of eight horses to test positive for morphine in July, a substance which has since been traced back to a batch of contaminated feed.

A British Horseracing Authority (BHA) disciplinary hearing ruled that trainer Sir Michael Stoute had in fact taken sufficient measures to prevent the incident from happening, and decided against imposing a fine.

Estimate finished as runner-up to Leading Light in the Gold Cup, having won the same race in 2013.

The £80,625 prize for second place will now be handed to Missunited, who originally finished third in the race.


Queen hopes Scots 'think very carefully' about vote

The Queen pictured speaking to crowds at Crathie Church, Aberdeenshire today. Credit: Donald Stewart

The Queen has urged Scottish voters to "think very carefully" before casting their ballots in Thursday's referendum.

She was heard making the off-camera remarks to members of the public during a visit to Crathie Church in Aberdeenshire.

The Telegraph newspaper said it understood the monarch had told the small crowd:

You have an important vote on Thursday.

I hope everybody thinks very carefully about the referendum this week.

– The Queen

It is thought to be her first public comment on the issue of Scottish independence.

Salmond: Queen 'will be proud' to be monarch of an independent Scotland

The Queen "will be proud" to be the monarch of an independent Scotland, according to Alex Salmond.

Scotland's First Minister also said he had an audience at Balmoral "but the proper position is you don't discuss these matters in public".

I want the Queen as head of state, as Queen of Scots of an independent Scotland as her ancestors were.

I think Her Majesty the Queen, who has seen so many events in the course of her long reign, will be proud to be Queen of Scots, and indeed we would be proud to have her as monarch of this land...

And I think the statement from the Palace about the Queen's neutrality in this matter is a perfectly satisfactory and perfectly sensible one.

– first minister alex salmond

Queen 'delighted' with news of new great-grandchild

The Queen is said to be 'delighted' by the news that Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their second child.

Queen's 'fears over being the last Queen of Scotland'

The Queen is apparently concerned that she might be the monarch presiding over the breaking up of the Union and be the last Queen of Scotland.

The Queen at the Highland Games over the weekend. Credit: Anwar Hussein/Anwar Hussein/EMPICS Entertainment

A source quoted in The Mirror said: "The Queen is a unionist, there is now a great deal of concern.

“If there is a Yes vote that puts us into uncharted territory constitutionally . Nothing is certain and her being Queen of Scotland is not a given.”

Maintaining the Union is believed to have been the main topic of conversation between the Queen and David Cameron as the Prime Minister visited Balmoral over the weekend.

Palace aides have stressed that the Queen remains neutral on the issue as with all political debates.


Queen honours WW1 soldiers in Crathie Kirk service

The Queen has attended a service of commemoration for WW1 soldiers in Aberdeenshire's Crathie Kirk Church.

The Queen has attended a service of commemoration to mark the start of the First World War. Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
The Queen sits in Crathie Kirk Church in Crathie, Aberdeenshire. Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

Games delegate 'can die happy' after meeting Queen

The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh received a warm welcome at the Athletes' Village in Dalmarnock today, where one Games delegate said he could "die happy" after meeting Her Majesty.

Crowds cheered and fought to catch a glimpse of the royal couple as they arrived at Athletes' Village in Dalmarnock. Credit: PA

Solomon Islands chef de mission Ronald Bei Talasasa, who was too small to catch a glimpse of the royal couple when they visited his country in 1974, said: "I love the Queen, I love England. It was a great honour. For me to meet her was a dream. I can now die happy."

The Queen, who was accompanied by Prince Philip, was introduced to athletes and Games volunteers on her visit to the Commonwealth Games Village.

Queen Elizabeth II meets athlete Sally Pearson during a visit to the Commonwealth Games Village in Glasgow, Scotland. Credit: PA

Australian 100m hurdles champion and London 2012 gold medallist, Sally Pearson, spoke of her conversation with the Queen: "She said 'I think you've brought the weather with you' and I told her that I think it's all due to change next week."

Queen officially opens the 2014 Commonwealth Games

The Queen arriving at the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games. Credit: Peter Byrne/PA

The Queen has revealed what the secret message says she put in the Games' baton, as she officially opened the Commonwealth Games.

The baton has travelled more than 100,000 miles around the world visiting 71 nations before arriving back in Glasgow.

Reading it out as she formally declared the Games open, she said: "The baton relay represents a calling together of people from every part of the Commonwealth and serves as a reminder of our shared ideals and ambitions as a diverse, resourceful and cohesive family."

Wishing her best wishes to the competing athletes, the Queen added: "Your accomplishments over the coming days will encourage us all to strengthen the bonds that unite us.

"You remind us that young people, those under 25 years of age, make up half of our Commonwealth citizens; and it is to you that we entrust our values and our future.

"It now gives me the greatest pleasure to declare the 20th Commonwealth Games open."

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