UK & World News
Diamond Queen Begins Festivities At The Derby
Four days of nationwide Diamond Jubilee celebrations have begun with the Queen attending the Epsom Derby.
Demonstrating her lifelong passion for horses, Queen Elizabeth II marked the start of an extended holiday weekend to celebrate her 60-year reign with a trip to the races.
The Queen, joined by the Duke of Edinburgh and other members of the royal family, watched red hot favourite Camelot win the classic event by five lengths.
The royals were treated to a gala performance by the 8-13 favourite horse, who also won this year's 2,000 Guineas race.
Trained by Aidan O'Brien and ridden by his son Joseph, it is the first time a father and son duo have won the Derby.
On arrival at Epsom, the royal couple were given an affectionate welcome from a crowd of about 130,000 race-goers as they were driven along the straight and met at the winning post.
Classical singer Katherine Jenkins sang the national anthem, wowing the crowds, as the Queen took her seat in the royal box.
A huge cheer went up as many of the spectators waved union flags and lined the Queen's route into the stand named in her honour and opened by the monarch in 1992.
A large party, including the Duke of York and his daughters Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, and the monarch's racing manager John Warren, joined the Queen at the racing-calendar highlight.
The Earl and Countess of Wessex also accompanied the 86-year-old monarch in her royal box along with the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, and Prince and Princess Michael of Kent.
The royals were also treated to an aerial display by members of the British Army's Red Devils parachute team before the main event - the racing - began.
Grey skies threatened rain but the Queen was dressed in a white silk dress with a blue floral print, and a royal blue crepe wool coat by Stewart Parvin and matching hat by Rachel Trevor Morgan.
A host of famous names also joined the racegoers: Donna Air, Mischa Barton, Phil Tuffnell and Matt Dawson, while the London 2012 Olympics were recognised with the Great Britain women's hockey team present.
Unlike in last year's race, the Queen did not enter a horse in the Derby, or the other six featured races at the Epsom Downs racecourse.
Racecourse manager Rupert Trevelyan told Sky News he was "extremely proud" to be hosting the Queen at the event.
"The Queen's horses have been competing at the highest level for more than 60 years. It's her passion," Mr Trevelyan said.
Anthony Cane, the racecourse's chairman, added: "At the end of the day, her love is to come here."
Speaking about the Queen's passion for all things equestrian, he said: "She's incredibly knowledgeable.
"Her knowledge of thoroughbreds and breeding goes way back. She's absolutely amazing."
Meanwhile, in the East End of London vessels of all shapes and sizes like the square rigger Tenacious continue to muster ahead of Sunday's showpiece 1,000 flotilla river pageant.
New pictures released show the finishing touches being made to the royal barge - Spirit of Chartwell - at a secret and secure location.
Security will be of paramount importance as the Royal Family takes to the River Thames - but not to the point of distraction, organisers said.
"I hope that she enjoys the pageant, that she feels the affection and admiration of not only her people through the Commonwealth, but the fact that the rest of the world wants to come to the party is in itself a tribute to her," Lord Salisbury told Sky News.
Sky's senior correspondent David Bowden reports from Putney, south-west London, where the flotilla sets sail:
Hundreds of boats have been taking up their positions on the River Thames ahead of the Jubilee Pageant.
Among those taking part are sea cadets from across the country, dragon boat crews, rowing teams and single man kayaks.
They will paddle ahead of scores of larger craft including pleasure cruisers, lifeboats and the little ships which rescued thousands of allied soldiers from the Normandy beaches in the Second World War.
There are 40 of them here, each with their own unique history, all preparing to take part in another history making event more than 60 years on.
All day curious onlookers have watched from the Putney banks as the Pageant flotilla bobbed into formation.
Some of the boats are very old, some brand new and the crews too span the ages, yet all share common emotions, excitement, pride and just a little nervousness about what they are going to be part of.
Even the sun came out late in the afternoon to warm the mood even more.
Sky correspondent Emma Birchley reports from West India Dock in East London, where some of the boats taking part in the pageant have been setting off down the river.
The bustle of activity began by 6am as boat owners made final preparations to set off to their moorings upriver beyond Putney.
An array of vessels from historic working boats to barges and lifeboats had spent the night at the east London dock.
During the morning, first the modern cruisers then the older vessels made their way to a lock before emerging onto the Thames.
Once the tall ship Tenacious had departed, only the barges and narrowboats were left. They will leave for their muster points first thing in the morning, ready for the start of the pageant just after 2.30pm.
On Monday there will be a pop concert in front of Buckingham Palace while events will end on Tuesday with a service at St Paul's Cathedral and appearance of the Royals on the palace balcony.
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what do you think?
" Good on yer Liz "
I too have a life long passion for horses, sadly I have never been able to persuade the tax payer to pay me hundreds of thousands of pounds a year so I can indulge this passion. Guess I'll have to like them from a distance.
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For a start, you should check up and find out how much we do pay her. Then find out what expences she has ! Finally, how much she contributes from her own purse ! Second thoughts, don`t bother, you would not believe it anyway.
Is it just me or us anyone else sick and tired if hearing about the jubilee???
It's just you.
It's just you.
The sheeple have swallowed all of the pro-royal propaganda that has been thrown at us over the years. The Windsor/Mountbatten/Battenburg/Saxe-Coburg-Gotha family are merely human beings, just like the rest of us, they are not gods, some flag waving peasant minded sorts seem to have a sad need to worship a figurehead.
no I'm fed up as well so are my family and friends
At Least we have 2 days off-Enjoy-
Not me I'm working
YES IT'S THE QUEENS JUBILEE AND THE NUMBER OF UNION JACK FLAGS THAT HAVE SEEN BEING FLOWN UPSIDE DOWN AND THESE ARE BY BRITISH CITIZENS. NO IDEA WHAT WAY UP THE FLAG SHOULD BE FLOWN I.E. HUNG SHOULD BE TAUGHT TO OUR CHILDREN IN SCHOOL
its called the union jack when flown from the jack mast on a ship or boat and when on land its called the union flag but i guess you forgot that bit when moaning about them being hung upside down.
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Not sure if it's money we'll spent but the country could do with a good party so everyone enjoy the celebrations
Brilliant- a day to celebrate. The jubilee is a representation of everything that is wrong in this world. Individuals propelled to the top of society with vast and riches of disgusting proportions. Yesterday on orange it yat reported that 300,000 children in the Yemen are starving to death. But forget about that, lets rejoice that a privileged old lady is celebrating 60years of being waited on. This world is pretty sickening, isn't it.
Yawn... we don't live in Yemen! You are welcome to move there though...
I trust Jimmy ! that you are taking your own advice.
It astonishing that people are giving this the thumbs down. Shame on you!
go home idiot.
if you love overseas that much get the frag out of britain you anti royal bag of male cow manure
I think horse racing and war are immoral activities yet we get all this stuff rammed down our throats every time we put on the tv and radio and they get a jubilee to give it some respectibility - a sad indictment of our "evolution".
horse racing has been around since the days of the pharos and brings in a lot of revenue to the country. to place horse racing in the same catagory as war is ludicrous and feeble minded. if man has supposedly evolved then why do we still fight and why is the planet in such a mess. royals at the races is like candyfloss and rock at the seaside common as muck but forever british