Queen spends day at races as jubilee events begin

Associated Press
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip arrive for the Epsom Derby at Epsom race course, southern England at the start of  four-day Diamond Jubilee celebrations to mark the 60th anniversary of the Queen's accession to the throne Saturday, June 2, 2012. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)
.

View gallery

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip arrive for the Epsom Derby at Epsom race course, southern …

LONDON (AP) — More than 1,000 boats were to sail down the Thames on Sunday for a flotilla tribute to Queen Elizabeth II's 60 years on the throne, in what organizers are calling the biggest gathering on the river for 350 years.

Despite cool, damp weather, hundreds of thousands of people are expected to line the riverbanks, feting the British monarch whose longevity has given her the status of the nation's favorite grandmother.

The four-day celebrations also include street parties and a Monday pop concert in front of Buckingham Palace featuring Elton John and Paul McCartney — though not everyone in Britain will be celebrating. The anti-monarchist group Republic plans a riverbank protest as the flotilla goes by on Sunday, followed by a pub night where royal refuseniks can drown their sorrows.

The celebration kicked off Saturday with a royal day at the races, as the queen watched a horse with the courtly name of Camelot win the Epsom. Diamond Jubilee festivities officially began with a 41-gun salute fired by the King's Troop, Royal Horse Artillery at Horse Guards Parade in central London.

The 86-year-old monarch and her husband, Prince Philip, visited Epsom racecourse south of the capital for the Derby, one of the year's biggest horse-racing meetings. The queen waved to the 130,000-strong crowd as she was driven down the racecourse in a Bentley bearing the Royal Standard — the car's sun roof kept shut under gray skies — before settling down to watch the races from the royal box.

Dressed in a royal blue coat and matching hat over a blue-and-white floral dress, the queen was accompanied by members of the royal family including her sons Prince Andrew and Prince Edward and Andrew's daughters Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie.

The royals were treated to an aerial display by members of the British Army's Red Devils parachute team before the main event — the racing.

The monarch is a racing fan and horse breeder who has attended the Derby for decades and reads the Racing Post each day over breakfast, although unlike many of her subjects she does not gamble.

The queen presented prizes to some of the race winners and spoke intently to jockeys and trainers

"She's incredibly knowledgeable. Her knowledge of thoroughbreds and breeding goes way back," said Anthony Cane, chairman of Epsom Downs Racecourse.

The queen took the throne in 1952 on the death of her father, King George VI, and most Britons have known no other monarch.

Jubilee events end Tuesday with a religious service at St. Paul's Cathedral, a carriage procession through the streets of London and the queen's appearance with her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren on the palace balcony.

Prime Minister David Cameron — the 12th British leader of the queen's reign — paid tribute to the monarch's "extraordinary level of physical energy, mental energy, and above all devotion to her people, to the institutions of this country, to the way our democracy works."

With pictures of the monarch splashed across newspaper front pages, the left-leaning Guardian provided a button on its website that removed all jubilee stories. But many Britons embraced the jubilee spirit — a tribute to a monarch whose popularity cuts across all ages, social classes and political affiliations.

In a jubilee gift from Britain's politicians, lawmakers from the three main parties have backed a motion calling for the tower housing Big Ben — the beloved London bell that chimes the quarter hour — to be renamed in the queen's honor.

More than half of legislators have signed a letter asking parliamentary authorities to consider renaming the east tower of the Houses of Parliament the Elizabeth Tower. It's currently called the Clock Tower.

While many Britons used the long weekend to relax — and an estimated 2 million left the country on vacation — writers and religious leaders used the occasion to reflect on how Britain has changed over the queen's reign, from a war-scarred imperial power to a middle-sized power with oversized cultural clout.

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, spiritual head of the Anglican Church, expressed a widely held view when he said Britain had been lucky to have Elizabeth as monarch throughout a period of rapid change.

"It seems to me that what her importance has been for most people in this country has been as a sign of stability, a sign of some kind of security," Williams said in a jubilee video message.

Some have speculated that as she ages the queen might abdicate in favor of her 63-year-old son, Prince Charles — or even her wildly popular grandson, Prince William.

Those who know her say that is unlikely.

"I think it's an absolutely absurd notion," former Prime Minister John Major told Sky News. "I have not a shadow of a doubt that given her health she will remain monarch for the rest of her life."

___

Online: http://www.thediamondjubilee.org

Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.

    Recommended for You

    • Melania Trump stuns in first lady fashion stakes

      First Lady Melania Trump stunned fashion watchers by donning a sleek, off-the-shoulder cream dress with a daring thigh-high slit to dance with President Donald Trump at the inaugural balls. The new first lady's sartorial picks for the inauguration went some way to silencing critics who have complained in the past that she favored high-end European clothes rather than American creations.

      AFP
    • Inauguration crowds are looking puny compared to Women's March crowds

      Sorry, Trump, but these Women's March crowds are YUGE. Ladies from around the world got in formation to take part in the Women's March on Washington following Trump's inauguration, and the crowds are downright bigly. With attendance projections for the D.C. March now at over 500,000, many can't help but compare today's attendance to Friday's underwhelming inauguration numbers. SEE ALSO: Who pulled the bigger crowd: Trump or Obama? While hundreds of thousands did show up to watch Trump be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States on Friday, visible empty bleachers and photos of Obama's packed 2009 inauguration ceremony,which had an estimated turnout of around 1.8 million, proved Trump's gathering was far from record setting. The March reportedly led to 1,000 more busses being booked than on Trump's big day, and photographs and video from today's events show D.C. bombarded with an overwhelming number of attendees. Though official inauguration numbers are unknown, the gorgeous sea of pink Pussyhats assembling at today's March certainly appeared to trump the president's crowds. If you want to see how massive the Women's March is, I'm standing at the back edge of the crowd, and I've marked the speaker's stage. pic.twitter.com/L47WgP2OuP — Matt Pearce (@mattdpearce) January 21, 2017 #WomensMarch in #DC view from the roof of VOA towards #USCapitol pic.twitter.com/JBY4MAhep3 — Niki Papadogiannakis (@nikipapadog) January 21, 2017 @JoyAnnReid @puffin98 Let's compare crowd size of Trump Inauguration v D.C. Women's March...樂 Mr Trump...you can't comb over racism! pic.twitter.com/Lz9Tn8PpZp — Sissy Victor (@sissyvictor40) January 21, 2017 #WomensMarch Today vs. #Inauguration Yesterday pic.twitter.com/jFowSajc4Q — Austin Hunt (@AustinHunt) January 21, 2017 Photos of the Shady Grove Metro station currently. Hearing it's an hour wait to get on the train. O____o #WomensMarch pic.twitter.com/YOaaQ41v1s — Philip Lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) January 21, 2017 What the same DC Metro station looked like on Inauguration Day vs. what it looks like today pic.twitter.com/gi8GBoqni5 — Freddie Campion (@FreddieCampion) January 21, 2017 On my way to cover #WomensMarch in DC and have not seen this station this busy even at peak rush hour before. Pink everywhere. pic.twitter.com/kYhxy66ttj — Tal Kopan (@TalKopan) January 21, 2017 #WomensMarch We're not even in DC yet, and this metro station has a better crowd than the inauguration. pic.twitter.com/iXeJFqwtIJ — Emily Hecht (@emiblake) January 21, 2017 The fact that there are more people at the #WomensMarch than the #Inauguration gives me hope that we're all going to be alright. pic.twitter.com/GgNeEii2yB — David Thompson (@DavidMDT) January 21, 2017 Thanks to the National Mall Cam, a live video feed of the U.S. Capitol building, you can check out the huge crowds for yourself in real time. Inauguration Photo of Donald Trump's inauguration crowds on Jan. 20, 2017. Image: screengrab/earthcam Women's March Photo of Women's March on Washington crowds at 12:00 p.m. on Jan. 21, 2017. Image: screengrab/earthcam Uh oh, Trump. Looks like the women of the world are giving you some serious competition. BONUS: Trump's 2017 vs Obama's 2009: A brutal inaugural concert comparison

      Mashable
    • What the Sale of the Sears Craftsman Brand Means for You

      As Sears struggles to stay relevant and profitable amidst a slew of store closings and disappointing sales figures, fans of the famed Sears Craftsman brand have encountered a struggle of their ow...

      Consumer Reports
    • White House claims largest crowd size in history, despite evidence to the contrary

      In striking comments, White House press secretary Sean Spicer used his first official statement on Saturday to castigate the media for what he claimed was “deliberately false reporting,” including reporting on the attendance at President Trump’s inauguration. Spicer was particularly incensed about photos shared on social media by members of the press comparing the crowd at Trump’s ceremony with those at inaugurations past. A number of reporters posted side-by-side photographs of the crowds amassed for the inauguration of Trump on Friday and for Barack Obama eight years before.

      Yahoo News
    • Gambia's Yahya Jammeh leaves power after 22 years

      Gambia's veteran leader Yahya Jammeh flew out from the country he ruled for 22 years to cede power to President Adama Barrow and end a political crisis.

      AFP Videos
    • Grown-up Paris Jackson hits her namesake city for Givenchy

      PARIS (AP) — Colorful fall-winter menswear shows in Paris mixed high culture, androgyny and streetwear, as Paris Jackson, the daughter of the late pop icon Michael Jackson, stepped out for the cameras at Givenchy's library show— fittingly in the City of Light.

      Associated Press
    • Islamic State blows up Mosul hotel to prevent Iraqi forces using it

      Islamic State blew up a landmark hotel in western Mosul on Friday in an apparent attempt to prevent advancing Iraqi forces from using it as a base in their offensive to capture the city, witnesses said on Sunday. The Mosul Hotel, shaped as a stepped pyramid, appeared to be leaning to one side after the explosions, two witnesses said by phone. The Mosul Hotel stands close to the Tigris river which divides the city.

      Reuters 6 min ago
    • California Chrome wins Horse of the Year at Eclipse Awards

      HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. (AP) — California Chrome has one race left in his career, and is in such good condition right now that trainer Art Sherman is clamoring for more time with him. It's easy to see why.

      Associated Press
    • Trump tweets criticism over US protests

      President Donald Trump took to Twitter early Sunday to needle the estimated two million people who marched in women-led mass protests against him a day earlier, including celebrities who took part. Celebs hurt cause badly," Trump tweeted. "Peaceful protests are a hallmark of our democracy.

      AFP
    • Analysis: Trump speech shows America getting what it ordered

      WASHINGTON (AP) — America is getting what it ordered on Election Day.

      Associated Press
    • Warriors crush Rockets for sixth straight NBA win

      The Golden State Warriors took their revenge against the Houston Rockets, overwhelming on both ends of the court with a 125-108 victory at the Toyota Center arena. Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant joined forces to power the offence while the rest of the crew made the defensive stops as the Warriors stretched their NBA winning streak to six games. "Three good teams in a row, we definitely wanted to come out and make a nice statement," said Durant, who also had two steals and two blocks.

      AFP
    • Prosecutor: 'Dance Mom' should be imprisoned for fraud

      PITTSBURGH (AP) — A prosecutor on Friday urged a federal judge to sentence "Dance Moms" star Abby Lee Miller to prison instead of probation for bankruptcy fraud.

      Associated Press
    • Trump signs first executive order, targeting Obamacare with few specifics

      President Trump signed his first executive order in his redecorated Oval Office late Friday, targeting Obamacare, as his administration ordered an immediate freeze on new regulations just hours after his inauguration. Seated behind the iconic Resolute Desk, made from the timbers of a British exploration ship in the late 19th century, Trump also signed the commissions for his first two Cabinet nominees to win Senate confirmation: Defense Secretary James Mattis and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly. Trump was surrounded by senior aides and advisers, including his son-in-law Jared Kushner, Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Kellyanne Conway, Hope Hicks, National Security Adviser Mike Flynn, Stephen Miller and Marc Short.

      Yahoo News
    • No immunity deal agreed for Gambia's Jammeh, Senegal minister says

      By Diadie Ba and Tim Cocks DAKAR/BANJUL (Reuters) - West African leaders did not agree to immunity for Yahya Jammeh during negotiations that convinced Gambia's longtime ruler to flee into exile, Senegal's foreign minister said on Sunday. Jammeh, who is accused of serious rights violations, led his country for 22 years but refused to accept defeat in a December election. The peaceful end to the impasse will allow opposition figure Adama Barrow, who was sworn in as president at Gambia's embassy in neighbouring Senegal on Thursday, to take office.

      Reuters
    • Texas court grants appeal after 35 years without conviction

      DALLAS (AP) — A Texas inmate who was imprisoned for 35 years while waiting for a new trial after a court overturned his murder conviction should be set free, an appellate court ruled.

      Associated Press
    • Oil producers say output cut on track

      Oil producers said Sunday that their landmark December deal to slash output by almost two million barrels per day was on track, as they met to review progress. "Compliance is great, it's been really fantastic," Khaled al-Falih, energy minister of oil behemoth Saudi Arabia, was quoted by Bloomberg as saying. The December 10 accord, valid from January 1 for six months, obliges 24 countries inside and outside the OPEC group to cut production by 1.8 million bpd between them.

      AFP
    • Police Investigating After Oklahoma State University Student Found Dead

      Police are investigating after the body of a 22-year-old Oklahoma State University student was discovered by his roommates.

      Tribune
    • Trump's inaugural ball cake looked suspiciously like Obama's from 2013

      Looks like we have a copy-cake on our hands. Baker and Food Network personality Duff Goldman created a cake for President Obama's "Commander-in-Chief" inaugural ball in 2013. On Friday, however, he noticed a very similar cake in the news — the cake at one of Donald Trump's inaugural balls. SEE ALSO: How Trump's inauguration concert compared to Obama's The cake on the left is the one I made for President Obama's inauguration 4 years ago. The one on the right is Trumps. I didn't make it. 樂 pic.twitter.com/qJXpCfPhii — Duff Goldman (@Duff_Goldman) January 21, 2017 Turns out, the resemblance wasn't a coincidence. According to Tiffany MacIsaac of Buttercream Bakeshop, the order she received from Trump's team requested an exact replica of Goldman's 2013 creation.  "Duff Goldman originally created this for Obama's inauguration 4 years ago," she wrote on Instagram, "and this years committee commissioned us to re-create it." But — hold up — the D.C. bakeshop isn't keeping the profits from the commission. "Best part is all the profits are being donated to @humanrightscampaign, one of our favorite charities who we have loved working with over the years," she continued. A photo posted by Buttercream Bakeshop (@bttrcrmbakeshop) on Jan 21, 2017 at 7:35am PST FYI, the Trump cake is mostly made of Styrofoam — it's intended primarily to be a display item. But it's a good lookin' cake nonetheless. That Obama team had great taste, huh? Remembering a fantastic cake I made is awesome and the chef that re-created it for @POTUS Trump did a fantastic job. Group hug, y'all.  — Duff Goldman (@Duff_Goldman) January 21, 2017 BONUS: Obama 'Hope' artist has a new set of powerful posters

      Mashable
    • Britain's May faces pressure after reports of Trident test malfunction

      A test firing of an unarmed British nuclear Trident missile from a submarine malfunctioned last June, the Sunday Times reported, prompting questions about why Prime Minister Theresa May did not tell parliament ahead of a vote on renewing the submarines. It was the only test firing of a British nuclear missile in four years and came shortly before May became prime minister in the wake of Britain's vote last June to leave the European Union, the paper said. It said May had omitted any mention of the failed test when she persuaded parliament to spend 40 billion pounds ($49.5 billion) on new Trident submarines in her first major speech to parliament as prime minister last July.

      Reuters