Forty of the Queen’s jockeys, past and present, lined up in a spectacular guard of honor for the royal party ahead of the Derby Day race at Epsom.
The greats of the saddle, clad in the famous purple and gold silk, lined the steps overlooking the hat box winner’s fence before heading to the track to greet the Princess Royal and other members of the entourage.
Frankie Dettori said he was “honoured” to be among the riders, which also include current stars Hollie Doyle and Tom Marquand, and Derby-winning riders Kieren Fallon, Johnny Murtagh and Martin Dwyer, along with champion jump jockeys Barry Geraghty and Sir Anthony McCoy .
Dettori said: “I felt like I did as a student 30 years ago! What a nice touch that was.
“It was a beautiful sight and it’s a picture that I will definitely hang on the wall, that was unique where we all stood on the stairs.”
Steve Cauthen, who won the Derby three times and was a regular at Her Majesty’s side during the 1980s, came over from Kentucky to take part in the parade.
He said: “It was an honor to be invited here to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
“I’ve been looking forward to this ever since I received the invitation. It’s so exciting to be here with all these amazing jockeys. It’s always been an honor to ride for Her Majesty the Queen and to celebrate her in this way is beautiful.
“It’s a shame she can’t be there, but I’m sure she’s watching on TV and we all send her our very best wishes. It’s always been an honor to bring this side on and it still is.”
Willie Carson won a classic for the Queen in her silver jubilee year and continues to insist that it was one of the greatest highlights of his glittering career.
Carson said, “It’s such an honor to be dressed like I did years ago.
“And to have about 40 jockeys dressed in her colors was an amazing sight to see.
“Most jockeys are very happy to be wearing those colors today. They are all very proud to be a part of the platinum anniversary celebrations.
“The highlight for me is simple. It was riding Dunfermline in the Oaks in 1977, in the silver jubilee year – and we won. It was a fairy tale come true.
“Unfortunately she cannot be here today. She is a very elderly lady and she has been doing a lot of things for the Platinum Jubilee lately, but I can assure you that she will definitely be here in mind.”