The Queen is currently in lockdown like the rest of us. But unlike most other people, she's doing it in a castle, along with 22 members of staff, where she's got large enough grounds to be able to continue one of her greatest passions - horse riding. Well, that's what you et when you're the Queen and you've given up your life for crown and country.
Over the weekend, the royal family released a series of new photographs of Queen Elizabeth riding a horse in Windsor Home Park. Her Majesty has reportedly been riding in Windsor most weeks during lockdown, as she does normally any time she's in Windsor, and she regards it as one of the secrets to keeping so fit and healthy in her nineties.
At 94, it's pretty inspiring to see the Queen atop a horse, kitted out in jodhpurs and a riding coat and absolutely nailing it. If I can be anywhere near as active as our monarch at that age, I'll have done something right.
The horse featured in the photo series is called Fern, a Fell Pony that's been owned by the royal family for 14 years. Fell Ponies are native to the North of England and, according to Daily Mail royal correspondent Rebecca English, are a particular favourite of the Queen because "they are versatile working breed renowned for their steady temperament".
How happy does she look!!
Elizabeth II has long been a fan of horse riding, and her passion has featured in some of the storylines in Netflix's royal drama The Crown. One particular narrative particularly upset fans, however, when series 3 of the show documented the close relationship between the Queen and her horse racing manager, Lord Porchester (also known as Porchey).
In one episode it was insinuated that the pair's bond might perhaps have been stronger than just friendship. In the scenes, Olivia Colman playing the Queen visits international horse breeders with Porchey. Upon her return, Prince Philip, appears to be somewhat suspicious over the month-long trip, leading the Queen's character to say: "If you have something to say, say it now. Otherwise, if you don’t mind, I’m busy."
According to The Times, those close to the Queen weren't too pleased with this 'more than friendship' suggestion. The monarch's former press secretary, Dickie Arbiter is reported to have said: "The Queen is the last person in the world to have ever considered looking at another man. Not only is this muckraking – this is gossip that’s been washing around for decades. It’s got absolutely no substance."
So there you go. One thing that isn't disputed, however, is the Queen's love of horses, as evidenced in these latest pics.
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