Queen kicks off Jubilee at the track

June 2, 2012 at 11:17 AM
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LONDON, June 2 (UPI) -- Britain's Queen Elizabeth II began the first day of her Diamond Jubilee Saturday at the familiar confines of Epsom Downs, the palace said.

Elizabeth rarely misses the annual Epsom Derby horse race and didn't let the nationwide hoopla over the 60th anniversary of her coronation keep her away this year.

The queen frequently has a horse running the Derby; however that was not the case this year and she attended strictly as a fan, The Daily Telegraph said.

"She's incredibly knowledgeable," Epsom Chairman Anthony Cane told reporters. "Her knowledge of thoroughbreds and breeding goes way back. She's absolutely amazing."

About 130,000 cheering spectators watched as Elizabeth, dressed in a white silk dress and blue coat, was driven on to the grounds and over to the royal box where she watched the action with two of her sons, granddaughters and other members of the royal family.

The four-day celebration continues Sunday with a cruise with her family down the Thames aboard the royal barge. The Daily Telegraph said the royals would lead a parade of boats expected to number about 1,000.

Monday, Buckingham Palace will host a gala concert featuring British icons like Paul McCartney and Elton John, and Tuesday comes the royal procession from Westminster Hall to the palace.

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