Queen to miss second Jubilee event in a row as she rules out Epsom Derby appearance

The Queen was never expected to attend all her scheduled events, Royal Editor Chris Ship explains

The Queen is to miss her scheduled appearance at the Epsom Derby on Saturday, Buckingham Palace has confirmed.

It's the second Platinum Jubilee event in a row the 96-year-old has had to cancel because of ongoing mobility issues.

On Friday, she missed a thanksgiving service to mark her anniversary. The Palace explained she had suffered “discomfort” following a busy first day of festivities, which included a double balcony appearance and a flypast.

The Queen is an avid racing fan.

Speaking to an attendee at a reception after the service, the Duchess of Cambridge said the Queen is "fine" but had found Thursday "very tiring".

Although the Queen won't attend the Epsom Derby on Friday, the avid horse racing fan is expected to watch it on television at Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace said.

Her daughter, Princess Anne, will attend in-person instead. A guard of honour, made of up to 40 of the Queen’s past and present jockeys, is due to line the course.

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Epsom tweeted: “We would like to wish Her Majesty The Queen a wonderful Platinum Jubilee. It is a rare occasion that The Queen is unable to join us at Epsom Downs but we are delighted she plans to enjoy Derby Day on television. “We have big plans to celebrate Her Majesty’s contribution to horseracing and the nation, and these will continue in full tomorrow."

Earlier on Thursday, the royals came together with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in honour of the missing monarch.

Will the Queen attend other events over the weekend?

Harry and Meghan joined the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as nearly 40 royals gathered for the thanksgiving service in central London.It was the first time the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been on full public view alongside the Windsors since they quit the monarchy for a new life in the US two years ago.

During Friday's thanksgiving service, tributes were paid to the Queen’s “70 years of faithful and dedicated service” as 2,000 people including Boris Johnson, Cabinet ministers, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, first ministers of the devolved governments and former prime ministers filled the historic church.

Harry and Meghan at the thanksgiving service

The PM and his wife Carrie Johnson were greeted with loud boos and also cheers as they arrived at St Paul's.

It comes after months of controversy for Mr Johnson and the Tory government following a number of rule-breaking Number 10 parties during lockdown.

A number of other events to mark the jubilee are planned for the weekend, including:

Platinum Party at the Palace - Saturday

Platinum Party At The Palace concert will take place at Buckingham Palace, featuring Queen + Adam Lambert, Alicia Keys, Hans Zimmer, Ella Eyre, Craig David, Mabel, Elbow and George Ezra amongst others.

Platinum Jubilee Pageant - Sunday

The Pageant on Sunday will combine street arts, theatre, music, circus, carnival and costume. The ambitious £15 million pageant is split into four acts: For Queen and Country with a military parade; The Time of Our Lives progressing through seven decades of culture, music and fashion; Let’s Celebrate telling the story of the Queen’s life in 12 chapters with corgi puppets and carnival creations; and the Happy and Glorious musical spectacle.

A grand finale fit for a queen - Sunday

Close to 200 national treasures will take to the stage to serenade the Queen by singing the national anthem at the grand finale of the Platinum Jubilee festivities.

Stars including Sir David Jason, Harry Redknapp, Sir Cliff Richard, Sandie Shaw, Felicity Kendal, Joe Wicks and Holly Willoughby will join Ed Sheeran in a mass rendition of God Save The Queen outside Buckingham Palace at the end of the pageant on Sunday.

The monarch is expected to appear on the balcony – the second of her planned appearances on the famous frontage over the weekend – to bring the national commemorations to a close.