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The Epsom Derby, one of the largest and most significant U.K. sporting events, is always a big day for the queen as well as many other royals who have attended, from Princess Diana to Prince Philip.
However, this year is the third time during her historic reign that the queen has been forced to miss it. And we know this must have been painful as she loves the world of horses and racing.
The queen though is enjoying all the fun without the fuss back home at Windsor Castle, watching on a big screen, and, of course, she has been graced with a special program.
Although she does not have any of her own personal horses running this year, she is, I am told, “really excited that the event is back to full form after the COVID setbacks of the last few years.”
Princess Anne attends the second day of the Epsom Derby Festival horse racing event at Epsom Downs Racecourse. (Glyn Kirk/AFP via Getty Images)
In her place was The Princess Royal in great spirits as she arrived at Epsom racecourse for Derby Day to deputize for Her Majesty the Queen.
The monarch is said to be “fine” despite the announcement she decided against going to of one of her favorite events. Princess Anne assured many well-wishers the queen is doing great and is in wonderful form but simply “not overdoing it.”
But back to the big day, which is all part of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
The hot topic: Where was Kim Kardashian? The place was agog with news Kardashian would pop up with new squeeze Pete Davidson. The organizers appeared to believe that an invite had been offered to her, but it appears Kardashian declined.
Another breaking news love story is that the queen’s grandson, Peter Phillips, made his public debut with his new girlfriend, a year after divorcing his wife, Autumn. Dashing Peter was joined by Lindsay Wallace, an old school friend, as he attended the Epsom Derby.
She looked very nervous and unsure naturally at such a big event. But to say Phillips looked happy with Lindsay Wallace is an understatement. And I hear she has also won the approval of Princess Anne. So the hot word is that this could very soon be yet another exciting royal wedding looming, maybe as fast at autumn.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle dashed from the queen’s thanksgiving service at St. Paul’s Cathedral rather than join other royals and VIPs at a reception, but they were invited to this event today, according to my sources.
However, they are spending the day together at Windsor celebrating the first birthday of daughter Lilly Diana. At the service of thanksgiving, they saw massive blowback from the public in London, which booed the ex-royals.
Looking at my archive, I also want to share the memory given to me by Debbie Reynolds, the late Hollywood legend and star of “Singing in the Rain,” who told me about the time she and the legendary Elizabeth Taylor met the queen at the Derby in 1995.
Neil Sean speaks with Princess Anne about Queen Elizabeth’s status after she skipped several Platinum Jubilee appearances. (Fox News)
“I was there with my husband Eddie Fisher, and Liz was married to Mike Todd at the moment, but we got introduced to the queen as you do,” Reynolds said. “And, let me tell you, the queen is the first woman that was able to silence Elizabeth Taylor. You see, Liz was always the center of attention. But that time even she was awestruck at her star power.
“At the time, the queen was in a happy mood as her horse had won, or something. And she was like a little girl — so really happy — and me and Elizabeth were there to share that moment, which was so nice to have as a memory really.”
I also bumped into Judy Murray, the all-conquering mother of tennis ace Andy Murray who told me of disappointment at the monarch missing this great event.
“It’s such a lovely atmosphere here, and I think this would have been the icing on the cake really,” Judy said. “I mean, I want her to go on forever as she is such a remarkable lady and monarch. But, yes, a tad teary that she had to miss it, but we wish her all the very best in the Platinum Jubilee.”
It was then when I received a call from brilliant Welsh singing diva Bonnie Tyler, who is in Cardiff Wales ahead of her own Platinum Jubilee performance tonight. She was excited to meet Prince William and Catherine.
Queen Elizabeth and Princess Anne highlighting the achievements of women to mark International Women’s Day. (Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)
“Amazing, truly amazing and such a nice couple you could not meet,” she said. Tyler was also warmed that both royals were singing along to her worldwide smash “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” which, in Tyler’s words, “blew me away” as she rehearsed.
Back to the Derby. It’s a huge success with many royals and aristocrats here celebrating in the warm sunshine. But the big focus next is the concert tonight with global icons like Diana Ross, Nile Rogers and Duran Duran, to name a few. And I will be front and backstage for you bringing you all the news exclusively here on Fox News.
Now where did Princess Anne go again?