Despite some recent health setbacks, Queen Elizabeth stopped by the Windsor Horse Show this week to cheer on a few of her ponies.
The monarch made a surprise appearance at the event on Friday after being driven the short distance from her nearby home of Windsor Castle. She took in much of the event from her Range Rover, watching as three of her fell ponies took part in the race. One of them, Balmoral Leia, even won the Highland Class competition. An observer told People of the outing, “She was in great spirits. People she knows in the horse world were being brought to her to talk to her at the window. You can see she is in really good form.”
In addition to getting to see one of her horses win their race, Queen Elizabeth also got to take in a special performance by her great-granddaughter Lady Louise Windsor who led a parade through the arena driving a carriage that formally belonged to the monarch’s late husband Prince Philip.
This trip comes just days after the queen had to miss out on the State Opening of Parliament on Tuesday due to “episodic mobility problems,” sending her eldest son, Prince Charles, in her stead. But the royal didn’t let those mobility issues stop her from taking in the races. Later that morning, she was driven from the track to the main arena where she moved slowly over to a lift and then walked about 30 yards with the help of a cane over to her seat in the stands alongside her son Prince Edward.
The queen has become increasingly reliant on her walking stick in recent months as she’s continued to experience mobility issues and has difficulty standing for long periods of time. The royal even joked about her condition during a recent in-person meeting, “Well, as you can see, I can’t move!”
In late February, the queen also faced another difficult health setback when she contracted coronavirus, but the palace confirmed at the time that she was only experiencing “mild cold-like symptoms.” In April, however, after a conversation with National Health Service workers organized by the Royal London Hospital during during which former patient Asef Hussain discussed the lingering effects of his battle with COVID, the royal did give some insight into her own experience with the illness, confessing, “It does leave one very tired and exhausted doesn’t it, this horrible pandemic? It’s not a nice result.”
Listen to Vanity Fair’s DYNASTY podcast now.