Epsom organisers work with 'hope' the Queen will attend Derby Day on her Platinum Jubilee

Queen Elizabeth at the Epsom Races in 2019.
Queen Elizabeth at the Epsom Races in 2019. Credit: PA

Organisers at Epsom Racecourse are working on the "assumption and the hope" that the Queen will attend Derby Day during the Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June.

The Queen has been experiencing mobility issues in recent months.

Plans are being worked through to offer the "most appropriate journey" for her arrival and departure.

Chairman of Epsom Racecourse Julia Budd with Queen Elizabeth II as she meets Lester Piggott during Derby Day in 2019. Credit: PA

She would traditionally be driven along the racetrack in front of crowds, walk a short distance from the railings to a door by the weighing room, and then take a lift to the Royal Box.

A source said: "At this stage, it's too early to know. There are various conversations going on.

"It would be possible to get the car closer to the stand – to mean that she would not need to walk on the grass. That's detail that's not been finalised."

Benoit de la Sayette aboard New Pursuit during the Epsom Downs Spring on Tuesday. Credit: PA

A guard of honour will be formed on the track by 40 of the Queen's retired and current jockeys wearing her purple and gold racing silks.

The Queen's Stand is also being permanently renamed The Queen Elizbeth II Stand to recognise her contribution to racing.

Former jockey Willie Carson. Credit: PA

Four-time Derby winner, Willie Carson, said: "She's the patron of racing. Without her, we would be a little bit lost, because her patronage is a very valuable thing.

"When you put the (Queen's racing) colours on, especially at Epsom, a jockey grows six inches. You're just that much bigger and more important.

"You're riding for Her Majesty The Queen, and The Queen is the most famous woman in the whole wide world, so you're privileged. You're honoured. You want to be doing your best for her.

"She's very sharp. We've got to know The Queen quite well, and it's her passion. I wouldn't call it her life, but it's her passion, her hobby, and she really enjoys doing it. It's not just the horseracing she enjoys. She enjoys the breeding side of it."

The Derby remains the only one of the five-horse racing 'Classics' that the Queen is yet to win as a racehorse owner.

Her horse Aureole finished second in the 1953 race, just four days after the Queen's Coronation.

She has three horses currently entered in the race – Educator, General Idea and Reach for the Moon – which will be held on Saturday 4th June.

Hayley Turner before the bet365 Handicap on day two of the bet365 Craven Meeting at Newmarket Racecourse Credit: PA

Hayley Turner, who has ridden for the Queen, said it would be "amazing" for the Queen to attend Derby Day.

She said: "It would be so special for her because horseracing is her passion.

"Compared to any other race or big race, all the jockeys and all the trainers, it's the one they want to win the most. I don't care what anyone says. It's the dream."

The Queen has only missed Derby Day four times during her reign – in 1956 and 1984 when she was abroad and in 2020 and 2021 due to Covid restrictions.

Queen Elizabeth in attendance at the 2019 Epsom derby day Credit: PA

Phil White, London Regional Director of at The Jockey Club, said: "We know that The Queen intends to be with us on the day.

"Derby Day always has that spectacular carnival atmosphere and we're looking forward to a display from the Red Devils and a military band's performance of the National Anthem, which will all add to a wonderful occasion."

A maximum capacity crowd in the ticketed enclosures at the racecourse of more than 35,000 people is expected, with tens of thousands more expected to take their place in the free enclosures on what is known locally as The Hill.