Historically horseracing, in one form or another, has been around for thousands of years. Records exist from Ancient Egypt, Greece, Babylon, Syria, the Roman Empire and the list goes on. However, it wasn’t until the evolution of actual thoroughbred racing in the 17th century, and it’s highlighted profile through its popularity with British Royalty and British Aristocracy, that it earned the title “The Sport of Kings”.
…And there has been no monarch in history that has ever embraced “The Sport of Kings” quite like The Queen, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second.
A day at the races in the UK is a fantastic opportunity to experience English history, pageantry, pomp and tradition and since first attending the Epsom Derby as a Princess back in 1946, The Queen has missed the race just twice. By the age of 6 years old Elizabeth was a keen horse rider and that competency grew through her teens and as an adult strengthening her love of the animals and for horseracing. It was her father King George the Sixth, also a horse enthusiast, that first took the young Princess Elizabeth to the Epsom Derby, and so began an eight decade long love affair with the event.
Elizabeth the Second was crowned as Queen of England in 1953 after the death of The King and unbelievably, just four days later, attended her first Epsom Derby as reigning Monarch.
Queen Elizabeth the Second inherited a magnificent collection of thoroughbreds and breeding stock from her late father and has since built her stable into a formidable racing empire. Jockeys wearing the scarlet and purple colours of Her Majesty have passed the winning post over 1600 times on The Queens horses and she has won all the British Classics, many multiple times, with only one race eluding her trophy cabinet, the Epsom Derby. Despite attempting the race with her runners 10 plus times The Queen has yet to become part of The Derby History as a winner of the race, with her best result actually coming in her first year attempted back in 1953 with Aureole which finished second to Pinza.
In a statement made in 2012 Epsom Downs Racecourse chairman, Anthony Cane said this about The Queen:
At the end of the day, her love is to come here. You have to remember, she comes here in a normal year in a private capacity not on an official visit. But she comes because she loves it, and this time it’s her one trip to Surrey in the Diamond Jubilee.
[The Queen] is incredibly knowledgeable. Her knowledge of thoroughbreds and breeding goes way back. She’s absolutely amazing.”
Once again in 2019 The Queen will be attending Britain’s richest flat race and will have her Royal Standard raised in the Jockey Club Enclosure after the royal procession down the straight from Tattenham Corner. If you’d like to be part of that celebratory crowd then perhaps consider a Hospitality Package through an official supplier to the event.
God Save the Queen!