Queen Elizabeth II Possibly Coming To Kentucky Derby

Friday, February 16th 2007, 12:58 pm
By: News On 6

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) _ Queen Elizabeth II might attend the Kentucky Derby.

The U.S. Secret Service is preparing for a ``probable'' visit from the queen around the first weekend in May. The Derby is Saturday, May 5.

``Our expectation is that the queen will be in the commonwealth,'' special agent Paul Johnson said. ``A lot of her itinerary is very sketchy. We're in the preliminary stages.''

The British government has already announced the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are planning to visit the United States in May to mark the 400th anniversary of the settlement of Jamestown, Va., but would not elaborate on her itinerary.

``We're of course aware of the speculation regarding the Queen's visit,'' a spokesman for the Royal Palace said Friday, on condition of anonymity in line with palace policy. ``These things take a little while to finalize.''

Churchill Downs spokesman John Asher said the track is ``aware of the possibility'' of a visit by the queen, but would not confirm whether she will attend the Derby.

The queen has visited Kentucky several times, but has never attended the Derby. British royalty has attended the Derby in the past: Princess Margaret, sister of the queen, attended the 1974 Derby with her husband, Lord Snowdon.

The queen wouldn't be the only foreign dignitary to attend the Derby this year. Vaira Vike-Freiberga, the president of Latvia, may also be attending.