Queen smiles during surprise appearance as horse named supreme champion

The monarch made an unexpected visit to the Royal Windsor Horse Show on Friday

Laura Hampson
Friday 13 May 2022 17:30
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Queen attends Royal Windsor Horse Show in first public outing in six weeks

The Queen made a surprise visit to the Royal Windsor Horse Show on Friday where her horse was named supreme champion.

The 96-year-old made her first public appearance since March after missing missing the state opening of parliament on the advice of doctors due to her continued mobility problems.

She joined crowds at the equestrian show and looked relaxed as she sat in her vehicle to watch the event before taking her place in the stands where she was presented with a trophy.

It was the first time in over 60 years she didn’t open parliament, delegating Prince Charles to deliver her speech instead.

The Queen arrived to watch the Highland Class 64 event earlier on Friday and her horse Balmoral Leia, a five-year-old grey dun mare, was named winner and was later announced as a supreme champion.

The Queen was last seen in public at Prince Philip’s memorial in March

Cathy Paige, an American tourist from Massachusetts, was overawed to be a few feet from the Queen after joining a friend at the show.

She said: “I didn’t expect to see her that was a wish, a dream, but never a possibility. I came along for the ride and got the ride of my life.

“We were 10 feet from Her Majesty, she was exactly as I expected, with perfectly quaffed hair – she was perfect. It was a moment I’ll never forget, I even made eye contact.”

It’s the first time the Queen has been seen in public since she attended a memorial service honouring her late husband, Prince Philip, in March.

Silver jubilation: the Queen’s horse Balmoral Leia was crowned supreme champion

Later the Queen joined the Earl and Countess of Wessex in the main Castle arena to watch the couple’s daughter, and her granddaughter, Lady Louse Windsor, in a carriage display marking the centenary of the Fell Pony Society.

The Queen was spotted walking into the arena wearing a headscarf and using her stick, and she was rewarded with her earlier winning horse beating other breed champions to be named winner in the Horse & Hound Mountain and Moorland Supreme in Hand Championship.

Additional reporting by PA

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