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The Derby at Epsom Downs During the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Weekend

Updated: Jul 12, 2022

The Cazoo Derby took place on the third day of the Queen's Jubilee celebration. We took a taxi from our hotel to Epsom. It is a forty-five minute drive. We arrived early and had breakfast at the Rubbing House, a gastro pub located across from the venue. It rained for a while, but fortunately, it stopped when we entered the racetrack. The course has a crowd capacity of 130’000 and it is over a mile and a half long track. The Derby is the UK’s premier thoroughbred horse race for three-year-old colts and fillies.

We purchased our tickets months in advance and had access to the Queen's Stand section. It was a great location and a prime spot for watching the action...from the races to members of the Royal Family. They have a strict dress code in the Queen's Stand. Gentlemen have to wear a morning suit and a top hat; ladies have to wear a formal day dress and a hat or fascinator. It took us months to get our wardrobe together as some of the items we needed are not found in the United States. If you desire to attend, be aware that the Queen's Stand truly means “standing”. They only have a few seats on the terrace and a few benches on the grass down the hill. We were lucky to find a seat at the terrace and watched all the action from there.

Princess Ann stepped in for the Queen to lead out the celebrations. Her motorcade used the racetrack and stopped in front of our stands. She was welcomed by past and present jockeys of the Queen who formed a guard of honor. Our seats was also just above the winner’s circle, so we were able to watch all the trophy ceremonies quite closely. There are several races during the day. The main one, the Derby, is one of the last races of the day. Between races, people seem to disappear, but they are just running around, betting or getting refreshments. The main refreshment enjoyed by all is champagne!

We left after the Derby trophy ceremony. That was the same time as all the Royals decided to leave as well, so we were a few steps from Anne, the Princess Royal and Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra as they went to their waiting chauffeured cars.

We had a wonderful day at the racecourse and really enjoyed the experience.

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