The Hill is the famous area at the centre of the racecourse and is usually the heart of the party as people flock to its unique carnival atmosphere. No tickets are required to access the Hill on either day - just turn up and enjoy!
What is more quintessentially British than indulging in a picnic at the Investec Derby Festival?
Her Majesty The Queen and the Derby
Last year we celebrated Her Majesty The Queen’s attendance at the Investec Derby
We have had the privilege of welcoming Her Majesty The Queen to The Derby for nearly 70 years but the 2016 Investec Derby Festival was a particularly momentous year as we celebrated her 90th birthday.
As an avid racehorse owner The Queen has enjoyed watching many horses run in her colours on the historic Epsom Downs. Just four days after her coronation in 1953 Her Majesty attended a sun-drenched Epsom Downs racecourse to watch her first runner in the Derby. Aureole, bred by The Queen’s late father, King George VI, finished second and is the closest Her Majesty has come to victory in the race. A year later, the impressive Aureole returned to Epsom Downs to triumph in the Coronation Cup, Her Majesty’s first major victory at the racecourse.
It was in 1957 that Her Majesty first enjoyed a Classic success on the Downs when Carroza, who was leased to The Queen by the National Stud, won The Oaks. Amid huge cheering, Her Majesty led her three-year-old filly into the famous Winners’ Enclosure. It was two decades later in 1977, the year of the Silver Jubilee, that The Queen enjoyed her second Oaks success with Dunfermline. Her Majesty narrowly missed out on a third Oaks winner in 2001 when homebred Flight Of Fancy, trained by Sir Michael Stoute, finished second. Her Majesty’s 2011 Derby contender, Carlton House, carried with him a greater sense of expectation than any of his predecessors and was sent off the 5/2 favourite. There was huge media interest ahead of the race but sadly there was no fairytale result as the colt lost a shoe and finished third, a length behind the successful French raider Pour Moi.
Queen Elizabeth II and Earl Carnarvon at the Derby in 1989
Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Anne at the Derby 1988
Her attendance at the Derby has enabled her to exercise her passion for ‘the Sport of Kings’, as seen in the accompanying library of images available for editorial use. These images show Her Majesty The Queen enjoying her day at Epsom Downs, engrossed in the adrenaline rush of racing and the unique carnival atmosphere of Derby Day.
Princess Margaret (1930 - 2002), Queen Elizabeth II and the Queen Mother (1900 - 2002) at the Derby, Epsom Downs Racecourse, Surrey, June 1958
Queen Elizabeth II at the Derby 1962
Queen Elizabeth II attending the Derby on 3rd June 1970
Queen Elizabeth II attending the Derby 1971
Queen Elizabeth II With The Royal Family At The Derby, 1978
Queen Elizabeth ll and the Queen Mother with Sir Angus Ogilvy watch the race while at the Derby in the 1970s
Queen Elizabeth ll, Prince Michael of Kent and Princess Michael of Kent enjoy watching racing at the Epsom Derby on June 01, 1988
Her Majesty The Queen arrives at the 2015 Investec Derby.
Queen Elizabeth II with her horse 'Highclere' at Epsom Downs Racecourse, 1974
The Queen has demonstrated an unwavering dedication and understanding of the breeding, training and racing of the thoroughbred throughout her long reign. The Queen’s involvement in racehorse ownership began in 1949 and has spanned eight decades. In celebration of her 90th Birthday, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II presented the Derby trophy to the winning connections of the 2016 Investec Derby, the first time during her reign that Her Majesty The Queen has presented this prestigious trophy.
Additionally, the Coronation Cup was re-named for 2016 only as The Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Cup (sponsored by Investec) in celebration of Her Majesty The Queen’s 90th birthday.
The Investec Derby Festival takes place at Epsom Downs Racecourse on Friday 2nd and Saturday 3rd June 2017.