The Queen will miss this iconic event that she has attended for the last 75 years

The Queen has opted to miss one of her favorite events due to event restrictions

the Queen
(Image credit: Carl De Souza / Stringer/ Getty Images)

It was revealed by a source that the Queen will not be attending the Epsom Derby, the famous horse racing event in Surrey, for concerns about the Covid-19 regulations put in place.

• The Queen has attended the Epsom Derby annually for the last 75 years.
• The horse racing event is one of the most prestigious in England and has been running for centuries.
• In other royal news, see the royal family member tipped for Strictly Come Dancing this year


The Queen is a well-known lover of horses and will often be found in the Royal box at some of the UK’s largest horse races.

Sadly it was revealed that the royal box that she has frequented since 1946 at Epsom Downs Racecourse, will remain empty this year. The Queen has instead elected to stay put and watch the race from the safety of her own home at Windsor Castle.

A royal insider told The Telegraph, “It’s a Derby but it’s not a traditional Derby day. It’s not going to be what it normally is so the Queen has decided she would rather watch it at home.”

This year there will be various restrictions in place due to the Pandemic. As of the 17th May, restrictions in the UK were changed but there are many still in place that put limits on the number of people allowed to attend outdoor events.

Typically the Epsom Downs race would attract thousands of fans. Pre-pandemic, in 2019, the number of ticketholders was at 36,000. This year, only 4,000 people are expected to attend the event.

Similarly, thousands of people would gather to sit on the famous hill outside of the event in order to watch the races from afar. This year, the hill will be closed and fans will be encouraged to watch the event from home.

The Queen has only missed this event on four occasions before in the 75 years that she has been attending this event. She missed the event for the third time in 2020 when the event took place without access to the public due to the UK lockdown.

The Queen

The Queen at Epsom Derby in 1988

(Image credit: Mirrorpix / Contributor / Getty Images)

The second time that the Queen missed this event was in 1984 when she was in France to mark the 40th D-Day anniversary. She also missed the event for the very first time in 1956 when she was making a state visit to Sweden at the time of the race. 

It has now been rumored that following Epsom Derby, the Queen will also opt to miss the Ascot Races later on this month for the same reason. 

The Telegraph speculated that the same restrictions may be applied to the Ascot races which may encourage the Queen to stay at home. Although they do suggest that the Queen may attend the races if one of her horses is participating. 

The Queen is expected to return to Epsom Derby next year in 2022. It was confirmed that there will be a four-day bank holiday to celebrate the Queen’s platinum jubilee in 2022. Part of this celebration will include the Queen attending the Epsom Derby among many other spectacular events to celebrate the Queen’s 70 years on the throne.