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Derby Day is a glorious high spot on the Flat calendar and a regular fixture in The Queen’s diary. But is trouble afoot for this year’s meeting?

H&H has noticed an announcement on the official website of the British monarchy that says Her Majesty will be in France on Derby Day, 7 June.

The announcement last month stated that “The Queen, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, will make a State visit to France from 5-7 June. Her Majesty and His Royal Highness are visiting at the invitation of the President of France.”

It adds that, on 6 June, they are to attend events to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Normandy landings and on 7 June are to be in Paris and “be received at the Élysée Palace by President Hollande”.

Even with the Eurostar, we do not see how she could fit all that in and still be at Epsom for the off at 4pm.

A Palace spokesman told H&H that this contradicts their diary and that “The Queen is to be in France on Thursday and Friday only”. The Palace was double checking as H&H went to press (Monday 17 March).

A spokesman for Epsom said it was still waiting for confirmation of Her Majesty’s attendance.

This article was first published in Horse & Hound magazine (20 March 2014)