Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh arrive on a canal boat at the Kelpies on July 5, 2017 in Falkirk, Scotland. Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh visited the new section the Queen Elizabeth II Canal, built as part of the £43m Helix project which features the internationally-acclaimed, 30-metre-high Kelpies sculptures.
Sculptor Andy Scott (left) with Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh (back) as they visit The Kelpies sculpture near Falkirk to unveil a plaque to name the Queen Elizabeth II Canal that runs through the Helix development.
It’s time for Britons to shout “God save the horsewoman-in-chief!”
Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, marking her 60 years on the throne, kick off today at Windsor Castle with an equestrian extravaganza featuring hundreds of Her Majesty’s favorite animal.
The thumping-big Jubilee events, including a flotilla of 1,000 ships floating down the Thames, are still weeks away, in the first weekend of June. But for the next four days, Brits will pay homage to their monarch and to the majestic horse.
“They’re part of our makeup, part of our history and culture, and they have served us so well for so very, very long,” says Annemarie Westwood, senior executive at the British Horse Society, which looks after the well-being of Britain’s horses.
The queen raises, breeds, races and, at 86, still rides horses. Next to her clutch of Welsh corgi dogs, no other creature is more associated with her.
“Her Majesty has always loved horses — she literally talks to her horses, she knows the names of all her horses,” Westwood says.
“They are obviously her great love. She is very relaxed and happy around them.”
The pageant will showcase 550 horses and 1,000 human performers, including Mounties from Canada, Cossacks from Russia and cowboys and Indians (Lakota Sioux) from the USA.
Her Majesty The Queen has made a personal donation to The British Horse Society and The Animal Health Trust’s Strangles Appeal for the second year running.
Her Majesty sent a cheque to the BHS, of which she has been Patron for more than 60 years, to help the charities fight the terrible disease that attacks horses. The generous gift, from the Privy Purse Charitable Trust, couldn’t be better timed, as the campaign makes a final push to reach its £250,000 target.
The Queen has taken a personal interest in the ‘Breaking the Strangles hold’ campaign, a joint initiative between The British Horse Society and the Animal Health Trust, and keeps a close eye on efforts to combat the disease. Significant progress has been made this year with the introduction of a blood test to screen for the disease prior to competitions, sales or movement. The test identifies horses that have recently been exposed to the disease, enabling the number and seriousness of outbreaks to be reduced. There is still a long way to go, however, and the rest of the money is needed to help create and produce a vaccine to eradicate Strangles for good.
BHS Chairman Patrick Print said: “We are very grateful to our Patron The Queen for her most generous gift, which will help fund research to find a fully effective vaccine against Strangles. I have no doubt Her Majesty’s example will encourage other horse lovers to give to this worthy cause.”
Anyone can donate to the Strangles Appeal by posting a cheque to Strangles Appeal, Animal Health Trust, FREEPOST CB360, Lanwades Park, Kentford, Newmarket, Suffolk, CB8 7BR or phoning the AHT to make a donation by credit card or direct debit on 08700 502830. HorseMart.co.uk >>