The Queen faces new heartbreak just days before Platinum Jubilee celebrations

Her Majesty received some upsetting news

In a matter of days, the nation will come together to celebrate the Queen's incredible Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

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But Her Majesty received some upsetting personal news at the weekend.

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It was announced on Sunday that Lester Piggott – the Queen's favourite jockey - had passed away in Switzerland at the age of 86.

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Lester's son-in-law, Derby-winning trainer William Haggas, said on Sunday: "Sadly we can confirm that Lester died peacefully in Switzerland this morning."

Lester Piggott passed away at the age 86

The nine-time Epsom Derby winner is widely regarded as one of the greatest jockeys of all time. His racing career lasted almost 50 years and he rode 4,493 winners - the third-highest tally in British history behind Sir Gordon Richards and Pat Eddery.

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Lester's nine victories in the Derby is a record which still stands today.

He was said to be the Queen's favourite jockey

Nicknamed 'The Long Fellow', he was a man of very few words. What's more, Lester had to overcome being partially deaf. But he was born into a racing dynasty – his grandfather Ernie rode two Grand National winners, and his father Keith trained one.

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In 1975, Lester was even awarded an OBE - but he was stripped of that honour after he received a three-year prison sentence in 1987 for income tax evasion.

The monarch talks to Lester as she unveils his statue at Epsom in 2019

He served 366 days in jail and made a surprise return to the saddle in 1990, at the age of 54. Just ten days into his comeback, he won the Breeders' Cup Mile on Royal Academy.

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Three-time champion Frankie Dettori paid tribute to his "hero", saying the news had come as "a shock".

Lester is considered one of the greatest jockeys of all time

"He has been part of our lives forever really," he said."Lester was a hero of mine and a good friend. The impact he has made in racing, on all of us, is second to none. I will always try to remember him for the good things and I offer my sincere condolences to his family and his many friends.

"He was a legend. We always tried to aspire to be like him and none of us can do it. He will never be forgotten."

Willie Carson and Frankie Dettori both paid tribute

Four-time Derby winner Willie Carson, who along with Lester dominated racing in the 1970s and 80s, said: "Lester has been part of my life ever since I came into racing. He was an iconic figure in the horse racing world. He is a legend.

"He was a person who made us all better - because we had to be better to beat him. We had to up our game to compete with him because he was so magical on top of a horse."

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