It is expected that Her Majesty, 96, will miss one of her favourite sporting events, the Epsom Derby, on Saturday, June 4. The date marks Prince Harry and Meghan’s daughter Lilibet’s first birthday, and with the family down to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee weekend, the Queen has made sure to free up time to spend with them.
Harry, 37, and Meghan, 40, will be celebrating Lilibet’s first birthday at Frogmore Cottage in Windsor alongside the Queen.
The couple, along with their two children Archie and Lilibet, are planning on spending the four-day Jubilee weekend at the residence.
The Platinum Jubilee is expected to tire out the Queen, who has been suffering from “episodic mobility problems” for the last six months and uses a walking stick to get around.
Aides of the Queen are attempting to keep her diary to a minimum over the course of the next week.
Sources close to the Queen say it is becoming “increasingly unlikely” she will travel to Epsom for the Derby after all three of her horses pulled out of the race.
The Queen is planning on missing Thursday’s Trooping the Colour official salute, but will appear twice on the balcony at Buckingham Palace to watch the flypast and to receive a salute from returning guardsmen.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, along with Prince Andrew, 62, are planning on attending Friday’s Thanksgiving Service at St Paul’s Cathedral, with the Queen also hoping to attend.
Before COVID-19 struck, the Queen had only missed the Derby twice — on a state visit to Sweden in 1956 and the 40th anniversary of D-Day in France in 1984.
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Harry and Meghan have told the Queen they will keep a low profile during the Jubilee celebrations and will only take part in official engagements.
Royal sources said they will “avoid unannounced visits elsewhere” that might overshadow Her Majesty’s celebrations.
Royal historian and author Hugo Vickers said this was the correct approach, telling the New York Post: “I would like to hope that it will all be focused on her.
“The fewer distractions there are, the better, frankly.”