This year marks HRH Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee, which celebrates her 70th year on the throne. While that is remarkable itself, she is also now 96 years old. Her health has been challenging Her Majesty; she contracted Covid this past winter and continues to suffer from ongoing but undisclosed mobility issues that kept her from normal duties such as opening Parliament. Her son and heir to the throne, Prince Charles, stepped in.
However, there have been two occasions where health issues didn’t stop the Queen from being present, and both involved her love of horses. The first occasion came in early May when she attended the Royal Windsor Horse Show. Images show her clearly enjoying herself, with bright smiles and attentive looks as she watched the various classes. She was on hand to watch her own Fell pony win the Highland class, and to cheer on granddaughter Lady Louise Windsor who has taken over the driving classes following the passing of the Queen’s husband, Prince Phillip in 2021. She was also seen chatting to various horsey people that she knew. This particular horse show has been held since 1943 and the Queen has never missed one.
And just last week, also at Windsor, she was presented with a horse from the President of Azerbaijan. The Queen used a cane to watch as members from the Equestrian Federation of Azerbaijan presented the horse as a gift from President Ilham Aliyev, after his country was invited to perform at the Platinum Jubilee celebrations. The horse is a Karabakh breed, which is native to Azerbaijan and bred to be ridden in endurance competitions and races. The stunning palomino horse was led to the Queen by two handlers dressed in their native costumes. The horse even called out to the Queen during the presentation.
What can we conclude from these two public events? That the Queen, like the rest of us horse lovers, will move heaven and earth to spend time with her favorite equines. Long live the Queen!