Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has been spotted riding a pony in the grounds of Windsor Castle, marking the first time she has been pictured in public since before lockdown began.
The 94-year-old monarch – who is known to be an accomplished equestrian – could be seen riding her 14-year-old fell pony Balmoral Fern, looking relaxed as she enjoyed the sunshine in the grounds of what is believed to be her favourite royal residence.
New photographs taken over the weekend show Her Maj sporting a colourful headscarf teamed with a smart tweed jacket, jodhpurs, white gloves and boots.
As reported by BBC News, Queen Elizabeth has been isolating at Windsor Castle alongside her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, 98, and a loyal team of 22 staff members.
The last public photograph of the Queen was snapped as she was driven away from Buckingham Palace on 19 March, with one of her two Dorgis – Candy and Vulcan – seen to be accompanying her on the journey to Berkshire.
For those who, like myself, had no idea these cute pups existed, a Dorgi is a cross between a Corgi and a Dachshund. As reported by Vanity Fair in 2016, the Queen herself engineered this breed after one of her corgis mated with a dachshund belonging to her younger sister, Princess Margaret.
As reported by the Mail Online, Her Majesty has been taking daily rides throughout her time in isolation.
Adhering to social distancing measures, Queen Elizabeth is said to drive a short distance to the stables, unaccompanied by police, servants or family members who could potentially expose her to the virus.
Head groom Terry Pendry reportedly makes sure the Queen’s ponies are ready for her, keeping two metres away from her at all times. Strict precautionary measures have been put in place, particularly when it comes to disinfecting the pony’s saddle and bridle.
Queen Elizabeth has loved horses since she was a young girl, and is still closely involved with the welfare of the horses she owns for the purposes of breeding, riding and racing.
Queen Elizabeth has made not one but two televised addresses during lockdown, a very rare occurrence for the monarch. During the first, delivered April 5, she declared the UK ‘will succeed’ in the fight against coronavirus, thanking people for sticking with social distancing measures.
On May 8, the 75th anniversary of VE Day, the Queen addressed the nation once again, praising the spirit shown by the British people and telling the public to ‘never give up, never despair’.
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Back in the saddle: Queen, 94, is pictured for the first time since COVID-19 forced her to lockdown in Windsor Castle 10 weeks ago as the country takes its first tentative steps back to normality today
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