Queen Put Down After Breaking Leg at Derby

CHURCHILL DOWNS, Ky. -- Queen Elizabeth II, monarch of the British empire and an enduring symbol of royal houses that once reigned supreme over half the world, was euthanized by veterinarians yesterday after breaking her leg on a stairwell en route to a private box at the Kentucky Derby.

The queen, who was attending her first derby and was more accustomed to the grass turf at England’s Ascot Races, was ascending the stairwell in third place, behind two body guards, when she briefly bumped vice president Dick Cheney on a landing as she turned, and then stumbled.

A team of Derby specialists rushed to the scene, but determined that the break was a clean snap along the lower right tibia.

“At her age, that just doesn’t heal,” said Derby vet Gary Sanremo. “We all agreed she’d suffered enough, what with the fracture, the swelling, that thing with her daughter-in-laws.”

Dr. Sanremo blamed part of the dilemma on the traditional British diet.

“You can’t eat starchy, heavily sauced food and deep fry everything you stuff in your gullet and expect your body to stay in top form,” he said. After the queen was put down, Dr. Sanremo said an examination revealed that she still had all her teeth.

“This was a very well cared-for queen,” he said. “Other than the diet, which I guess is a cultural thing, she was kept clean, obviously had comfortable bedding and was adequately watered. This is just one of those things.”