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The time The Queen and Prince Philip attended the Kentucky Derby, fulfilling a lifelong dream

Queen Elizabeth II was a huge supporter of horse racing and was one of the sport’s most prominent owners, so it is hardly a surprise that in her free time, the monarch could often be seen on a racecourse.

Her late Majesty became a regular face at some the UK’s best known racetracks such as Ascot and Epsom Downs, but the Queen was also known to visit more distant racecourses elsewhere in the world, including Churchill Downs in Kentucky.

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The South Louisville racing complex is best known for hosting America’s most famous horse race – the Kentucky Derby which takes place each year on the first Saturday of May.

The late monarch’s visit to Churchill Downs came as part of a week long state visit to the USA on the invitation of President Bush.

During their visit, the Queen and Prince Philip visited Washington DC, Virginia, Maryland and Kentucky.

Their couple’s trip to Kentucky was mostly private, with their only public appearance being at Churchill Downs with racegoers keen to get a glimpse of the monarch who was wearing a lime green wool coat with a matching dress and hat.

The Queen and Prince Philip arrived around two hours ahead of the race and were given a round of applause by spectators as they entered a private suite by the finishing post.

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It was widely reported in the press at the time that attending the Kentucky Derby was one of The Queen’s dreams as it is one of the most prestigious international racing events on the calendar.

Her Majesty and Prince Philip are not the only royals to have attended the Kentucky Derby. Princess Margaret was known to be a visitor to the race meeting.

In 2007, Kentucky bred Street Sense won the race for trainer Carl Nafzger and jockey Calvin Borel.

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