Queen calls off visit to Suffolk

THE Queen was last night forced to cancel her day at the races because of a back injury - though there was still hope she would still join Jockey Club stewards in west Suffolk to celebrate her 80th birthday.

THE Queen was last night forced to cancel her day at the races because of a back injury - though there was still hope she would still join Jockey Club stewards in west Suffolk to celebrate her 80th birthday.

The Queen called off her visit to Newmarket's NatWest Rowley Mile today after straining her back.

Three-and-a-half years ago The Queen was left needing keyhole surgery following a private visit to Newmarket in which she jarred her knee on rough ground.

Speaking yesterday Lisa Hancock, managing director of Newmarket Racecourses, said: “We are obviously very disappointed that The Queen will not be able to come racing tomorrow and we wish her a speedy recovery.


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“The race meeting will obviously go ahead as planned, with all the races themed around some of The Queen's notable horses from years gone by.”

The cancellation comes after the 80-year-old monarch strained a muscle during her annual summer break at the Balmoral estate in Scotland.

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Royal doctors are assessing her progress on a daily basis and advised her to cancel the engagement to reduce her busy workload.

However, last night her aides remained hopeful The Queen would make it to Newmarket to join The Jockey Club, in High Street, for a lunch celebrating her recent 80th birthday.

A spokeswoman for Buckingham Palace yesterday said: “We are trying to come to Newmarket but we are going to have to evaluate the situation on the day.”

Last week, she carried out her first ever trip to the Baltic states - touring Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia in just four-and-a-half days on what was a busy foreign visit.

Photographers touring the Baltics with The Queen observed that she appeared to be stooping slightly during the trip.

It is rare for The Queen to pull out of official engagements. In June last year, she cancelled several - including watching Prince Harry parade at Sandhurst - after catching a bad cold and suffering from a sore throat.

Later that year, in December, she returned to hospital for a similar operation on her left knee.

At the same time, surgeons removed minor non-cancerous growths from her face in a double procedure lasting an hour-and-a-quarter.

laurence.cawley@eadt.co.uk

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