The Queen's Jubilee
The Queen’s long term love affair with horses is well known in the equestrian world.
How did the Queen’s love of horses start?
The Queen inherited her love of horses and country life from both her parents. The King George VI, the Queen’s father, won a pre-war reputation as the most polished horseman of the royal brothers, on the polo ground and in the hunting field.
As well as a recreation, equestrianism is an important royal tradition, going back to the monarchy’s reliance on horsepower in ceremony and war.
What age did the Queen start riding?
Just like many young children today, the Queen had her first riding lesson at the tender age of three. She was given her first pony named Peggy when she turned four by her grandfather, King George V. By 18, she was an accomplished rider, and has continued to ride for pleasure into her nineties.
No one could have foreseen the immense contribution she would go on to make to all our riding sports.
Do the Queen’s children ride?
The Queen shares a love of riding with all four of her children. Her daughter Princess Anne is an accomplished equestrian and became the first royal to compete in the Olympics when she rode in the equestrian three-day event at the 1976 Games in Montreal. Following in her footsteps, Anne's daughter, Zara Tindall, competed in the 2012 Olympics and won a silver medal as a member of the Great Britain Eventing Team.
If you’re a royal, polo and family go hand in hand and the men of the Royal Family have all developed a passion for this sport that originated in Persia and reached the British Empire via India in the 19th century. Today the Queen’s grandsons, Prince William and Prince Harry, regularly competing in charity polo matches.
Why is the Queen involved in horse racing?
Generation after generation, the Royal Family has shared a profound passion for horses and Queen Elizabeth's interest in racing is no state secret. An owner and breeder of many thoroughbred racehorses means that the Queen, along with other members of the Royal Family, is a regular at British horse racing events including Royal Ascot, the Epsom Derby and the Grand National.
Ascot Racecourse was founded by Queen Anne in 1711 and has since received the patronage of a further eleven monarchs. The Ascot summer race meeting officially became a Royal week in 1911 and the Queen's own horses have won races at Royal Ascot a number of times.
What are the Queen's racing colours?
Her officially registered racing colours consist of a purple jacket with gold braid, red sleeves and a black velvet cap with a gold fringe. These were previously used by her great grandfather King Edward VII and, before that, by the later King George IV during his years as Prince Regent.
Why does the Queen attend Trooping of the Colour?
For over 260 years, Trooping of the Colour has marked the official birthday of the British Sovereign. It allows the troops of the Household Division to pay a personal tribute to the sovereign in a great display of military precision, horsemanship and fanfare.
This ceremony is believed to have been performed first during the reign of King Charles II. In 1748, it was decided that this parade would be used to mark the official birthday of the Sovereign and it became an annual event after George III became King in 1760.
Almost exactly 70 years ago, on June 7, 1951, Princess Elizabeth stood in for her father King George VI to take the salute at Trooping the Colour for the first time.
What does the Queen wear when she rides?
Her clothes are still reassuringly formal and usually consist of beige jodhpurs, brown jodhpur riding boots and a tweed hacking jacket with gloves and the inimitable head scarf!
Why doesn’t the Queen where a riding hat when she rides?
Despite repeated calls by safety campaigners over the years for her to wear a riding hat, she is still stubbornly sporting her famous knotted headscarf.
And what’s planned for her Jubilee celebrations and horses?
All we know so far, is that she attended an equestrian extravaganza show to celebrate her Platinum Jubilee on the final night at the Royal Windsor Horse Show.
The Royal Windsor Horse Show released a new portrait of the Queen with two of her beloved fell ponies, Bybeck Nightingale and Bybeck Katie, to mark her 96th birthday last month.