Queen smiles as she arrives at the Royal Windsor Horse Show


The delighted Queen took home the cup today at her first public appearance since missing the State Opening of Parliament. 

Her Majesty was back on her feet and brimming with excitement as she visited the Royal Windsor Horse Show – one of her favourite events of the year – despite ongoing mobility problems.

The 96-year-old monarch, wearing sunglasses, pink lipstick and dressed casually in a white blouse and dark cardigan, looked in good health and spirits as she watched her horse Balmoral Leia compete at the show that marks the beginning of her official Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

Her Majesty was clapped and cheered as she arrived in her Range Rover and wound down her window to chat animatedly to fellow festival-goers having never missed the event in the past 79 years.

The Royal Windsor Horse Show crowds looked equally thrilled to see her at the event also beloved by her husband of 73 years, Prince Philip, who died last April at the age of 99.

After missing the Queen’s Speech on Tuesday on doctor’s orders as she struggles to walk or stand for long periods, Her Majesty initially chose to stay in the passenger seat of her Range Rover, where she spoke to passers-by and watched horses in the parade ring.

And after an hour or so, with the aid of a stick, she walked slowly around 30ft to her seat in the grandstand between her son Prince Edward and Penny Knatchbull, Countess Mountbatten of Burma. And the Queen looked pleased as punch to be there. 

Edward’s wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex, was also there to support the monarch, whose highland pony won first place, securing her a trophy. Her Majesty also watched with pride as her granddaughter Lady Louise Windsor, driving the Duke of Edinburgh’s carriage, led the Fell Pony Society centenary parade. 

Shortly afterwards the Queen walked unaided to her Range Rover, waving to cheering crowds as she headed back to Windsor Castle. 

A beaming Queen as she began her Platinum Jubilee celebrations at her beloved Royal Windsor Horse Show

A beaming Queen as she began her Platinum Jubilee celebrations at her beloved Royal Windsor Horse Show

The 96-year-old monarch (pictured today) has been beset with mobility problems but was walking around with a stick, and her son Edward, as her jubilee approaches 

The Queen looked beyond delighted as she won a cup at the Royal Windsor Horse Show today - her first public appearance since missing the State Opening of Parliament

The Queen looked beyond delighted as she won a cup at the Royal Windsor Horse Show today – her first public appearance since missing the State Opening of Parliament

The Queen slapped her thigh and clapped the horses as she watched in the parade ring this afternoon

The Queen slapped her thigh and clapped the horses as she watched in the parade ring this afternoon

The Queen was sat next to Penny Knatchbull, Countess of Burma, on her right, and Edward on her left

The Queen was sat next to Penny Knatchbull, Countess of Burma, on her right, and Edward on her left

Her Majesty smiled broadly as the trophy was presented, to huge cheers from the crowd

Her Majesty smiled broadly as the trophy was presented, to huge cheers from the crowd, as she then read the inscription

Her Majesty smiled broadly as the trophy was presented, to huge cheers from the crowd, as she then read the inscription

The Queen is back on her feet today as she attended the Royal Windsor Horse Show, walking around 30ft to her seat next to her son Prince Edward this afternoon

The Queen is back on her feet today as she attended the Royal Windsor Horse Show, walking around 30ft to her seat next to her son Prince Edward this afternoon

The smiling monarch, in sunglasses and a trademark headscarf, smiled as she watched

The smiling monarch, in sunglasses and a trademark headscarf, smiled as she watched 

The Queen walked with a stick to her Range Rover after spending a few happy hours at the event near Windsor Castle

The Queen walked with a stick to her Range Rover after spending a few happy hours at the event near Windsor Castle

Her Majesty the Queen waves from her Range Rover car as she leaves the Royal Windsor Horse show

Her Majesty the Queen waves from her Range Rover car as she leaves the Royal Windsor Horse show

Sophie, Countess of Wessex, takes a picture of her daughter Lady Louise Windsor, who took part in the event

Sophie, Countess of Wessex, takes a picture of her daughter Lady Louise Windsor, who took part in the event

Lady Louise was driving the Duke of Edinburgh’s carriage, led the Fell Pony Society centenary parade.

Lady Louise was driving the Duke of Edinburgh’s carriage, led the Fell Pony Society centenary parade.

Her Majesty arrives at The Royal Windsor Horse Show at Home Park today

Her Majesty arrives at The Royal Windsor Horse Show at Home Park today

The Queen looked ecstatic to be out and about today as she arrived at the Royal Windsor Horse Show this morning

The Queen looked ecstatic to be out and about today as she arrived at the Royal Windsor Horse Show this morning

At one point the 96-year-old monarch began wagging her finger animatedly while talking to a festivalgoer

At one point the 96-year-old monarch began wagging her finger animatedly while talking to a festivalgoer 

Later she leant out of her window as she watched her horse Balmoral Leia compete in the parade

Later she leant out of her window as she watched her horse Balmoral Leia compete in the parade

The Queen smiled to the crowds and soaked up the atmosphere from her Range Rover, but she chose to stay in the car due to mobility problems

The Queen smiled to the crowds and soaked up the atmosphere from her Range Rover, but she chose to stay in the car due to mobility problems

Her Majesty cheers on her horses

Her Majesty cheers on her horses 

It came after the Queen made a secret trip to see her own horses this week as she missed the first day of the event yesterday. 14 of her animals will be taking part over the coming days, and the monarch was visibly delighted to see them in action. 

As the Range Rover pulled up near the parade ring today, the Queen spoke to a small group, thought to be officials from the show, through the open car window.

She appeared relaxed, smiling and laughing as she chatted, while just a few feet away dozens of photographers tried to capture the moment.

Inside the parade ring, horses were put through their paces as relaxing classical music was played over the public address system.

Dozens of members of the public were also keen to have a memento of the occasion, holding up camera phones to record their glimpse of the Queen.

The monarch was last seen in public when she attended a service commemorating the life of her late husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, in March with senior royals and a congregation of hundreds.

She reached her Platinum Jubilee in February, overcame a bout of Covid after testing positive that month, and celebrated her 96th birthday on April 21 privately at her Sandringham estate.

Last October, she spent a night in hospital and over the following three months was under doctors’ orders to only conduct light duties so missed a number of prominent events.

The Queen has been using a walking stick in public since she attended a service marking the centenary of the Royal British Legion last October.

enelope Knatchbull, Countess Mountbatten of Burma, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and Sophie, Countess of Wessex attend The Royal Windsor Horse Show

enelope Knatchbull, Countess Mountbatten of Burma, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and Sophie, Countess of Wessex attend The Royal Windsor Horse Show

Queen Elizabeth II with the Earl of Wessex in the royal box where there was a presentation

Queen Elizabeth II with the Earl of Wessex in the royal box where there was a presentation

After missing the State Opening of Parliament, there had been speculation that she would not attend the annual event, which is one of the highlights of her year. Insiders said she was desperate to go, and was delighted to be there

After missing the State Opening of Parliament, there had been speculation that she would not attend the annual event, which is one of the highlights of her year. Insiders said she was desperate to go, and was delighted to be there

Horses are one of the Queen’s great loves, and her car was parked where she had a fantastic vantage point of the parade ring

Britain's Queen Elizabeth is reflected in the mirror of a car, as she watches horses competing on the second day of the Royal Windsor Horse Show and Platinum Jubilee Celebration in Windsor

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth is reflected in the mirror of a car, as she watches horses competing on the second day of the Royal Windsor Horse Show and Platinum Jubilee Celebration in Windsor

The 96-year-old had a good giggle as she watched her horses in the parade ground at the event close to Windsor Castle

The 96-year-old had a good giggle as she watched her horses in the parade ground at the event close to Windsor Castle

Well-wishers popped over to have a chat with the royal, who looked very happy to be passing the time of day with them at her favourite horse show

Well-wishers popped over to have a chat with the royal, who looked very happy to be passing the time of day with them at her favourite horse show

The Queen spoke to a member of the Royal Windsor Show team. The event was also beloved of her late husband Prince Philip

The Queen spoke to a member of the Royal Windsor Show team. The event was also beloved of her late husband Prince Philip

Her Majesty spoke to a three or four people through the window of her Range Rover this morning. The 4-day event will include the "Gallop Through History" performance, which forms part of the official Platinum Jubilee celebrations

Her Majesty spoke to a three or four people through the window of her Range Rover this morning. The 4-day event will include the ‘Gallop Through History’ performance, which forms part of the official Platinum Jubilee celebrations

The 96-year-old was driven on to the showground in a Range Rover, parked next to the parade ring

The 96-year-old was driven on to the showground in a Range Rover, parked next to the parade ring

The crowds were delighted to see her sat in the front passenger seat of the vehicle, casually dressed in a white blouse and a blue cardigan-style top and wearing sunglasses

Official after official came to her car window to chat horses - and Her Majesty was clearly loving it

Official after official came to her car window to chat horses – and Her Majesty was clearly loving it

Something this man said to the monarch made her laugh uproariously days after she missed the Queen's Speech

Something this man said to the monarch made her laugh uproariously days after she missed the Queen’s Speech

The Queen was looking left and right as she took in the scenes at the show - but she chose not to get out of the car and sit in the royal box

The Queen was looking left and right as she took in the scenes at the show - but she chose not to get out of the car and sit in the royal box

The Queen was looking left and right as she took in the scenes at the show – but she chose not to get out of the car and sit in the royal box

The show, which kicked off yesterday and will run until Sunday, is the Queen’s favourite event of the year but Princess Beatrice stepped in for Her Majesty in a ‘dress rehearsal’ for Sunday night’s festivities.

Beatrice was said to have ‘delighted to be asked to play the role of the Queen’ to make sure the event would go ‘without a hitch should Her Majesty wish to attend the Royal Windsor Horse Show in this way.’

Instead of attending the event, the Queen chose to visit her own horses. She has not missed the show in 79 years and this year’s event will see 14 of her horses competing.

The Queen had been set to be driven 500 yards from her Windsor Castle apartments to see her five-year-old gelding First Responder compete, but her appearance was suddenly called off minutes before the horse was due to take part. 

She then privately visited her other horses entered into the contest at the Royal Mews at the castle, reports indicate.  

It came as this week the Queen dramatically pulled out of the State Opening of Parliament for the first time in 59 years because of her increasing mobility issues. Prince Charles read her speech for the first time, accompanied by Prince William, who had never attended before.

And it has been revealed that Beatrice and Edo, as well as Princess Eugenie, 32, and her husband Jack Brooskbank, along with several other royals, won’t make an appearance on the balcony of Buckingham Palace during the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations. 

The balcony appearance, which is often seen as the centrepiece of major royal occasions, including Trooping the Colour and weddings, usually sees the Queen’s extended family gather to watch a flypast and is a rare chance for fans to see the entire extended family together.

Following his ejection from public life, after settling a civil court case in America over allegations of sexual abuse against Virginia Giuffre (which he vehemently denies), it was inconceivable that Beatrice and Eugenie’s father Prince Andrew would be given a spot. 

Despite earlier claims that the Queen offered Prince Harry and Meghan Markle a space on the platform, they too have been left off the list, although they quickly announced today that they will be in London for the celebrations with their two children. 

However, in paring the list down to just 16 people to avoid potential diplomatic pitfalls, the Queen has been forced to omit a number of well-liked family members including her much-loved grandchildren and their families. 

Her cousins, including Prince Michael of Kent, and their families, with whom the Queen enjoys a warm relationship are also out in the cold, with a total of at least 34 royals absent from the balcony. 

The final balcony lineup will boast the Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall; the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children; the Earl and Countess of Wessex and their children; the Princess Royal and Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence; the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester; the Duke of Kent, and Princess Alexandra.

The Queen made a secret trip to see her own horses as she missed the first day of the Royal Windsor Horse Show (pictured at the event in 2011)

The Queen made a secret trip to see her own horses as she missed the first day of the Royal Windsor Horse Show (pictured at the event in 2011)

Princess Beatrice arrives during the charity preview night of A Gallop Through History Platinum Jubilee celebration at the Royal Windsor Horse Show at Windsor Castle. Picture date: Wednesday May 11

Princess Beatrice arrives during the charity preview night of A Gallop Through History Platinum Jubilee celebration at the Royal Windsor Horse Show at Windsor Castle. Picture date: Wednesday May 11 

Lady Louise Windsor drives a carriage once belonging to the Duke of Edinburgh during the A Gallop Through History Platinum Jubilee celebration at the Royal Windsor Horse Show at Windsor Castle. Picture date: Thursday May 12

Lady Louise Windsor drives a carriage once belonging to the Duke of Edinburgh during the A Gallop Through History Platinum Jubilee celebration at the Royal Windsor Horse Show at Windsor Castle. Picture date: Thursday May 12

The Queen’s other adult grandchildren, Peter Philips and Zara Tindall have been excluded with their families, even though their mother Princess Anne and stepfather Sir Timothy Laurence will join the Queen.  

In a formal statement about the decision, Buckingham Palace said: ‘After careful consideration, The Queen has decided this year’s traditional Trooping the Colour balcony appearance on Thursday 2nd June will be limited to Her Majesty and those Members of the Royal Family who are currently undertaking official public duties on behalf of The Queen.’ 

There are exceptions, however. Prince Anne’s husband Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, who is not a working royal, and the Queen’s granchildren Lady Louise and James, Viscount Severn, and her great-grandchildren George, Charlotte and Louis are included.

The Palace spokesman added: ‘The Cambridge and Wessex children are also expected to appear as is Sir Tim Laurence, who the Queen is happy to attend as a frequent attendee and support for the Princess Royal on official engagements.’ 

The announcement follows reports that her Majesty herself may not appear on the balcony, due to the 96-year-old’s limited mobility.

It is believed that aides are working on a ‘plan B’, with an insider saying: ‘It could still happen but it is by no means guaranteed that we will see the Queen on the balcony during the Jubilee.’ 

While recent balcony appearances have been more focused on senior members of the Firm, normally, there are no restrictions on which family members are present for Trooping of the Colour, the Queen’s official birthday. 

Never seen before footage from royal family’s private collection – showing a young Princess Elizabeth with her beloved corgi and playing with her sister Margaret – is released for BBC documentary The Queen Unseen

Extraordinary footage showing the Queen as a carefree young girl, taken from the royal family’s private collection of home videos, is set to be featured in upcoming BBC documentary Elizabeth: The Queen Unseen.

A trailer released by BBC on Thursday evening showed clips taken from hundreds of recordings released to the British Film Institute (BFI) and the BBC for the landmark TV documentary marking the Platinum Jubilee. 

In one clip, the Queen is seen on the Royal Yacht Britannia, learning how to skip on the deck of the vessel, while another sees her alongside her sister Margaret and their beloved father King George VI onboard HMS Vanguard in 1947.

Another excerpt, picked out by the BBC after the broadcaster trawled through over 400 films, sees the Queen as a teenager, dressed in a linen blue and white suit, linking arms with her grandmother Queen Mary. 

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A new trailer for upcoming BBC One documentary The Queen Unseen features previously unseen footage from the royal family's home video collection (Pictured: The Queen onboard HMS Vanguard in 1947)

A new trailer for upcoming BBC One documentary The Queen Unseen features previously unseen footage from the royal family’s home video collection (Pictured: The Queen onboard HMS Vanguard in 1947)

Intimate portrait: One of the clips featured in the documentary show the then Princess Elizabeth as a teenager with her corgi by her side

Intimate portrait: One of the clips featured in the documentary show the then Princess Elizabeth as a teenager with her corgi by her side

Another clip sees the Queen in childhood, wearing a colourful red blazer and smiling with her sister Princess Margaret

Another clip sees the Queen in childhood, wearing a colourful red blazer and smiling with her sister Princess Margaret 

The programme tells the story of her life before she ascended the throne in her own words, and shows how the family saw her at the time. 

The Queen may be one of the most filmed and photographed people in history, but these previously unseen images – taken by the people who know her best of all – offer a rare glimpse of her at her most unguarded.

Many show Her Majesty as a carefree teenager before the responsibilities that would follow within a decade are thrust upon her; one clip sees her with a beloved corgi by her side, and another, when she younger, shows the monarch-to-be grinning from ear-to-ear while playing with younger sibling Princess Margaret.  

In one poignant and carefree shot, the young Princess Elizabeth beams in the sunshine alongside her sister, Princess Margaret, and her much-loved father, King George VI, as the wind ruffles their hair.

They are pictured together on HMS Vanguard for a 1947 tour of South Africa, the trip on which Princess Elizabeth turned 21 and made a historic pledge of duty to her future subjects.

In another clip, the Queen is seen on the Royal Yacht Britannia, learning how to skip on the deck of the vessel, while Margaret plays in the background

In another clip, the Queen is seen on the Royal Yacht Britannia, learning how to skip on the deck of the vessel, while Margaret plays in the background

Princess Margaret and Princess Elizabeth with their beloved father King George VI onboard HMS Vanguard in 1947

Princess Margaret and Princess Elizabeth with their beloved father King George VI onboard HMS Vanguard in 1947

When the British Film Institute began to digitise the old films, a BBC team was given special access to the footage (Pictured: The Queen as a teenager, dressed in a linen blue and white suit, links arms with her grandmother Queen Mary)

When the British Film Institute began to digitise the old films, a BBC team was given special access to the footage (Pictured: The Queen as a teenager, dressed in a linen blue and white suit, links arms with her grandmother Queen Mary)

Same smile! The BBC team spent months working through over 400 films to compile the programme to mark the Platinum Jubilee next month, which will air on Sunday May 29th (Pictured: The Queen at Windsor Castle in April this year)

A 20-year-old Princess Elizabeth enjoying a visit to South Africa in 1947

Same smile! The BBC team spent months working through over 400 films to compile the programme to mark the Platinum Jubilee next month, which will air on Sunday May 29th (Pictured: The Queen at Windsor Castle in April this year, right: A 20-year-old Princess Elizabeth enjoying a visit to South Africa in 1947)

A beaming Princess Elizabeth shows off her new engagement ring soon after Prince Philip's marriage proposal at Balmoral in 1946

A beaming Princess Elizabeth shows off her new engagement ring soon after Prince Philip’s marriage proposal at Balmoral in 1946

Such memories have special resonance as the 96-year-old Monarch marks 70 years since she inherited the crown, taking on her father’s legacy after he died in his sleep at Sandringham aged 56.

Paying tribute on the anniversary of his death in February, the Queen renewed the pledge she made in South Africa, vowing to her subjects that ‘my life will always be devoted to your service’.

The newly released footage, shot by her parents, by Prince Philip and by the Queen herself, had been held by the Royal Collection in the vaults of the British Film Institute.

But when the BFI began to digitise the old film reels, a BBC team was given special access. They spent months working through more than 400 films to compile the 75-minute programme, Elizabeth: The Unseen Queen.

The documentary will feature no ‘talking head’ interviews but will rely instead on the newly discovered footage and the Queen’s own commentary, taken from nearly 60 of her recorded speeches. The result captures the Queen’s early life, starting from her being pushed in a pram by her mother in 1926 through to coronation in 1953.

In one shot, the Princess beams down at the dazzling three-carat diamond engagement ring on her finger.

Princess Elizabeth inspecting a battalion of the Grenadier Guards at Hove, East Sussex, 17 May 1944. The princess was appointed Colonel of the Grenadier Guards on her sixteenth birthday in 1942

Princess Elizabeth inspecting a battalion of the Grenadier Guards at Hove, East Sussex, 17 May 1944. The princess was appointed Colonel of the Grenadier Guards on her sixteenth birthday in 1942

It is 1946, and the 20-year-old is clearly emotional as she has only just been presented with the ring by her suitor, Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, who had designed it himself using jewels taken from a tiara belonging to his mother.

Captured on film by a member of the Royal Family at Balmoral, perhaps even Philip himself, it is a moment of touching intimacy and has never before been seen in public. Few in the Royal Family could have imagined just how important this marriage would be for the future of the Monarchy. For a long time afterwards, in fact, no one outside the family knew anything about the proposal.

While King George VI was happy with the match, he nonetheless asked the couple to wait a year, until Elizabeth turned 21, before making the engagement public.

There are other playful moments in the footage. One shows her father playing with a young Prince Charles and Princess Anne at Balmoral in 1951, which was to be the King’s last visit there.

Another scene features rare footage of Elizabeth with her uncle, Prince George, Duke of Kent, who died in a plane crash in 1942 while on active service.

There is also a light-hearted section recorded when the Queen and Prince Philip visited Canada shortly after they were married. They laugh trying to film from a boat, even though the rocking of the waves makes it nearly impossible.

A 20-year-old Princess Elizabeth enjoying a visit to South Africa in 1947

A 20-year-old Princess Elizabeth enjoying a visit to South Africa in 1947

The BBC hopes the film, which it claims is ‘unlike conventional documentaries’ about the Queen, will draw millions of viewers.

‘The production team was under no illusion quite how special having access to this very personal archive was,’ says Claire Popplewell, creative director for BBC Studios.

‘Being able to draw upon the self-recorded history of a young Princess Elizabeth and her wider family – and allowing the Queen to tell us her own story – is the heart of this film.’

Simon Young, the BBC’s commissioning editor for history programmes, adds: ‘This documentary is an extraordinary glimpse into a deeply personal side of the Royal Family that is rarely seen and it’s wonderful to be able to share it with the nation as we mark her Platinum Jubilee.’

Separately, other images from the Royal archive made public this weekend for the first time show how Princess Elizabeth shouldered her Royal duties during the darkest days of the Second World War.

King George VI, Queen Elizabeth (the future Queen Mother) and Princess Elizabeth watching a display of gliders landing from the windows of a control tower, 19 May 1944. The royal party spent a day with airborne troops who would be among Britain's D-Day invasion forces

King George VI, Queen Elizabeth (the future Queen Mother) and Princess Elizabeth watching a display of gliders landing from the windows of a control tower, 19 May 1944. The royal party spent a day with airborne troops who would be among Britain’s D-Day invasion forces

In May 1944, just a month after her 18th birthday, Elizabeth accompanied her parents to spend the day with airborne troops who would play a critical part in the Allies’ D-Day Normandy landings the following month.

Gazing from the window of a control tower, she watches a display of gliders before talking to paratroopers and watching a mass drop by parachutists.

A second rare image, taken two days earlier, shows Elizabeth inspecting a battalion of the Grenadier Guards at Hove, East Sussex. She had been appointed as Colonel of the regiment on her 16th birthday.

Demonstrating the thrift shown throughout her life, she is seen wearing the same dress on both engagements.

The historic pictures will appear in the Imperial War Museum’s forthcoming exhibition, Crown And Conflict: Portraits Of A Queen In Wartime, which opens in London on May 27.

Elizabeth: The Unseen Queen will be broadcast on Sunday, May 29, on BBC1.

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