Queen Elizabeth went to the Royal Windsor Horse Show after canceling yesterday

Thursday was the start of the Royal Windsor Horse Show, one of the most important events for Queen Elizabeth and most of the people in her family. I honestly don’t know what exactly goes on at the Royal Windsor Horse Show other than “prancing horses” and “horse drama” and “maybe some races?” The Queen attended last year’s show and she had a jolly horsey time. That was the happiest she looked in years. There is no doubt in my mind that the Queen would rather spend an hour with her horses than four days celebrating her Jubbly. As it turns out, she couldn’t even do that. She was supposed to briefly put in an appearance on Thursday but she cancelled at the very last minute, opting to visit her horses for twenty minutes privately. Hm.

The Queen opted to visit her horses privately on Thursday rather than attend the first day of the Royal Windsor Horse Show. The monarch spent 20 minutes with her horses away from the public gaze after apparently pulling out of what would have been a high profile visit to the show at the eleventh hour.

She had been expected to make the short drive from Windsor Castle to the showground to watch her horse, First Receiver, compete in a thoroughbred series qualifier. The area was cleared, her police protection officers were in attendance and the media corralled into position. But at the last moment, word came from the castle that Her Majesty would not be coming after all. It was thought there may have been concerns over the number of photographers present, given her ongoing problems with mobility. Instead, the Queen popped out to her stables at the Royal Mews in Windsor around 90 minutes later.

The Windsor Horse Show is thought to be one of the Queen’s favourite events of the year. She is believed to have attended every year since it began as a wartime fundraising event in 1943. The live show was cancelled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic and went online instead. Last year, she flew back from Scotland to attend the second day of the equestrian show, where she drove herself to the arena in a Range Rover and was pictured beaming as she soaked up the atmosphere.

It is hoped that the Queen will attend the grand finale on Sunday evening, a Platinum Jubilee celebration that could see 10 of her great-grandchildren riding together in a carriage. The two-hour show, called A Gallop Through History, hails the monarch “the heartbeat of the nation”. The energetic romp through 500 years, starting with the Spanish Armada, features gun salutes, steel bands, Bollywood dancing, huskies and around 500 horses.

[From The Telegraph]

I honestly think the Weekend at Bernie’s jokes are macabre, but also… this is so f–king weird. Clearly, everyone believed that the Queen would make a brief appearance. Things were cleared and moved, the photographers were in position, her aides had organized everything… and then she’s a no-show again. And again, I wonder if this is simply about her refusal to be photographed in a wheelchair. Surely at some point, the Queen’s ableist aides will understand that it looks so much worse for the Queen to pull out of sh-t at the last minute rather than “be photographed in a bejeweled wheelchair”? Will she show up on Sunday? Doubtful.

Update: the Queen was driven to the horse show today and she stayed in the car, watching the horses. That’s their solution for the Queen’s mobility issues. They’re just keeping her seated in the car. Update #2: The Queen did get out of the car, and she was photographed seated alongside Penny and Prince Edward. Hm.

Some photos of QEII at last year’s Royal Windsor Horse Show. She was so happy.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid.

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75 Responses to “Queen Elizabeth went to the Royal Windsor Horse Show after canceling yesterday”

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  1. ThatsNotOkay says:

    She looks fly in her shades. And I’m glad she’s up and smiling. It’s good to see. But, yeah, this is all about the walking.

  2. Amy Bee says:

    I don’t know about everyone else but I get the feeling that the Queen has decided that she’s only going to do things she enjoys or that are personally important to her. Btw she eventually got out of the car and is seated in the stands right now. If I were predict which events the Queen is going to attend for the Jubbly, I think it will the church service and trooping.

    • Maeve says:

      If there’s going to be horses/cows she’ll show, otherwise she’ll stay home and watch the racing!

    • PrincessK says:

      Yes, she is 96 and should do what she enjoys doing. Reading someone elses script in Parliament must be a bore and also making inane small talk at garden parties must be tedious. The Queen loves horses more than anything.

      • Charm says:

        Yes the queen is 96 and should do what she enjoys doing……so why doesnt she go ahead and do that? Of course, that will require her giving up the role of monarch….also known as “retire” which is what everyone in the world does, loooooong before they hit 96 – if theyre fortunate enough to reach that venerable age.

        So it begs the question: is the queen, in fact, able to make her own decisions, or is she being managed up the wazooo by “bad advisors” with their own agenda (as Prince Harry hinted.);

        or is she making the decision to remain the monarch, with all the perks but with as little of the work as she can get away with NOT doing, with the obvious excuse that “she is 96 and should do what she enjoys doing.”

    • TeamAwesome says:

      This. Opening of Parliament? Forget about it. Horses? Shows up every time.

      • Maeve says:

        If she skips the jubbly we’ll know why – “One is pacing oneself for Royal Ascot, which one enjoys much more than whatever terrible shindig they have planned for one in London.”

      • Christine says:

        She also missed everything around Easter, which is so strange for her. Yeah, she’s decided she’s just showing up for the horses from now on. Maybe the dogs too. Good for her, but BP has got to realize this looks absolutely ridiculous. Stop announcing she is going to be attending anything, and let it be a surprise.

        I’m sure there are people who are happy they have the mobility afforded by their wheelchairs who showed up to the garden party, for example. I’m sure they feel all warm and glowy hearing their monarch cannot stand to be seen in public in a wheelchair.

        Practice in front of your mirrors, “Going forward, the queen is not going to schedule any events.”

  3. Em says:

    Why would you put little children through the stress of riding in a carriage with plenty of flashing cameras, loud noise and screaming people? Especially the babies?

  4. Snuffles says:

    I was about to say I just saw her on The Today Show sitting in her car watching the horses. She looked good, all things considered.

  5. Cinders says:

    There are actually photos of her out of the car and on her feet. And then sitting down and watching the event next to Penny Knatchbull, of all people. Odd that she didn’t do the opening of parliament, but I suppose if anything was going to bring her out it would be the horses.

    • Maeve says:

      It’s quite a hike through the Parliament building – the House of Lords is right in the centre, it’s not close to the entrances – and there’s stairs involved so I can see why they decided to skip it.

  6. Merricat says:

    I think horses and everything associated with them make the queen pretty happy, and are probably her madeleine. I’m glad she got to see them.

    • BothSidesNow says:

      I am too! She looks genuinely very happy here, along with Omids Twitter pictures too!!

  7. Chloe says:

    With every day that passes it becomes more and more questionable that the queen will be seen during her own jubilee. I, for one, will be laughing is she won’t be in the balcony for trooping.

    • Em says:

      They can always put a high chair on the balcony for her

    • Layla says:

      Loool they could always use one of the big aisles with her picture on it and have the rest of the clowns standing around it

    • First comment says:

      According to the announcement, the balcony will be for the “working royals ” only…so, after the amount of her canceled events, it’d understandable if she isn’t there😉😉😉

    • OnTarget says:

      That’s cruel.

  8. Digital Unicorn says:

    The old girl has always loved the horse shows – no way she was going to miss this, esp when one of her horses was running.

  9. Monika says:

    Who is it that does not want her photographed in a wheel chair? The Queen, the aides or both? I am also confused why it’s a problem to be seen in a wheel chair while trapped in a car is just fine .

    • Chloe says:

      Personally i think the whole “wheelchair” excuse is fake. I think she’s just really sick and she looks really sick and therefore doesn’t want to be seen too much. If she really wanted to be out, she would be out. wheelchair or not.

      I also don’t think the queen is so vain that she has trouble being seen with a wheelchair. She’s 96 years old. She knows that most sane people would be understanding about it if she really needed one.

      • Merricat says:

        I agree.

      • molly says:

        I completely disagree about her being “really sick”.

        She’s clear-eyed and happy in these photos and whenever they prop her up and stage photos at home. Maybe she’s experiencing cognitive decline or limited mobility, but nothing we’ve seen indicates her physical health is in dire straits.

        (Contrasted with her mother who looked very frail in the later years or even Philip who appeared on death’s door for a decade.)

      • PrincessK says:

        She is not sick she is 96. Do you know what it is like to be 96?

      • Merricat says:

        I know what it is to watch a sharp-minded 96 year old slip in and out of sharpness. Some days are good, some are not, and some stop being good at the drop of a hat.

      • Muisje says:

        If that is really sick looking to you, you need glasses^^. very thick glasses.
        I am SO bloody tired of people talking her to deathbed, I can’t really say.
        She is 96, she has mobility issues. One day is not like the other. Period.

    • booboocita says:

      Franklin D Roosevelt often did campaign events and public appearances while sitting in the back of a convertible. He and his aides didn’t want too many people knowing that he used a wheelchair (and sometimes a walker, but only when absolutely necessary). I don’t think the passenger seat of a car is a bad compromise for TQ, although I also think that seeing her in a wheelchair would be a good thing for disability rights.

  10. rawiya says:

    I know it’s not a nice thing to say, but this delusional old bat who thinks she’s ordained by God to sit on a throne could have been living the sweet life, going to horse shows, and taking it easy had she abdicated years ago. Look at Princess (former Queen) Beatrix in the Netherlands. She does a few events a year, everyone’s always super happy to see her, and she’s enjoying life and her grandkids.

    But nooooo. Lizzy wanted to hang on until death took her, so now she’s being dragged out in cars, having gosh-knows-what pumped into her so that she can make it to June.

  11. Miranda says:

    So basically, Range Rover apparently makes wheelchairs now. Expensive, oversized wheelchairs with engines and all the amenities of, and looking suspiciously like, a car. WHAT THE HELL’S THE DIFFERENCE?!

  12. Maeve says:

    She loves this event so I’m glad she managed to get along to it, she’s absolutely in her happy place. It’s definitely something that she’d be at every year even if she wasn’t the Queen, it’s basically heaven for the horse-mad.
    As to what goes on, there’s showjumping (including the 5* Grand-Prix event, which is the highest level of competition – you’ll have Olympic standard riders at that), carriage driving, breed shows (think Crufts/Westminster Dog Show, but for horses), pony club events for young riders, etc etc plus a big marketplace where you can buy all your horse related stuff. And for HM it’s a chance to catch up with her horsy pals – you’ll see her chatting to all sorts of tweed and sensible shoe-clad people.

  13. Gill says:

    I’m wondering if it’s not actually some kind of cognitive impairment or a degree or dementia?? That would explain why they wait til the last minute to see whether she’s fit to attend events and also Harry’s statement about making sure she’s protected would fit in with making sure people she’s not being coerced etc

    • Steph says:

      Or a continence issue. I can’t see, her subjects at least, really having a problem seeing a 96 yo woman in a wheelchair. I can believe her aides are that delusional though. Or maybe she’s in meds that make her unpredictably tired.

      • Lady D says:

        At 96 you don’t really need much encouragement at all to nap. At the senior’s home, we watched and helped people her age with their meals. If we didn’t they fell asleep instead.

    • Fancyhat says:

      That makes the most sense to me especially with the last minute cancellations.

    • Sarah says:

      I think this is more likely than the wheelchair thing. My grandmother developed some mild dementia at the end of her life and started avoiding any social gatherings where people would ask her questions because she felt embarrassed when she couldn’t answer. She still spent time with family.

  14. Layla says:

    If this is their best solution, what are they going to do about troping the colour!? There’s so many steps in the palace, the balcony etc?
    It just begs the question, why won’t she use a wheelchair. The message the palace has been sending out that “she doesn’t want to be seen in a wheelchair because she doesn’t want the appear weak” is so insulting to people who have no choice but to use wheelchairs. Like what are you trying to say?

  15. Louise177 says:

    The Queen was in the stands and looked so happy.

  16. Betsy says:

    Could be mobility. Could be something like dizziness. Could be incontinence and she’s embarrassed about that.

    But have we considered that in her 90s, she’s just effing over it all and is just flat out refusing to do things? That her courtiers keep hoping to guilt/cajole her into doing something and leaving it until the absolute last minute to try and convince her to do an event and she’s just not willing. Someone upthread said she got out of the car and is in the stands; I think she’s just done with the whole pageant.

    • Debbie says:

      Re: your statement that maybe the queen is just “flat out refusing to do things.” Doesn’t she, as a consumer of tax money” have certain duties she is obligated to attend? Unless someone is ill or infirm, don’t they have to show up at certain official functions? Otherwise, isn’t that what W & K do, just flat out refuse to attend certain things just because they can?

      Personally, it doesn’t matter to me whether or she does her duty as I am not supporting these people, but I just thought that “I don’t wanna” was not something they could say. Now if someone is just too old to carry out these duties, that’s something else which should be discussed.

  17. Eurydice says:

    I think she looks pretty good. And if, at 96, you can’t decide to do whatever the hell you want whenever you want, I don’t know what you’re waiting for. She’s already handed off the boring crap to Charles and Wills – it’s their turn to screw things up.

  18. Amy Bee says:

    Russell Myers is reporting that the Queen plans to attend Sunday finale sitting in her Land Rover. That’s ridiculous and I hope it’s not true. I don’t understand why the press is not asking the Palace why they don’t want the Queen to be seen in a wheelchair?

    • The Hench says:

      Also – pressure issues. Car seats aren’t designed to be for vulnerable skin. Wheelchair cushions can be – and wheelchairs are a hell of a lot easier to get into than Land Rovers or Range Rovers. This is all getting just silly.

  19. Angelica Schuyler says:

    I think it’s so ridiculous that the queen refuses to be seen in a wheelchair. My mom is in her 80’s and uses a walker that also doubles a a transport chair. When she gets tired of walking, we flip the walker around and she sits in it and we push her the rest of the way. She’s happy to have her “servants” (our family) push her around. The queen could very easily get a swagged out scooter with all types of royal accoutrement, similar to what she’s rumored to use in the palace, to get around and about to all the activities, and still be cute doing it. My mom and aunts have canes that are bedazzled which they wear with dressier outfits if they’re going to more formal functions.

    It’s all in the attitude.

    • Julia K says:

      This makes so much sense! Would also be a wonderful message to people who have decreased mobility or poor activity tolerance.

      • Margaret says:

        I think she has a duty to those of her “subjects” who have some sort of physical limitation to set an example and demonstrate that it is perfectly fine to make use of the available aids such as wheelchairs to allow you to go about about business as usual. Needing a wheelchair is not something to be ashamed of and I think it is very wrong of The Queen to seemingly let her pride stop her from using one if she needs it to perform her duties.

  20. C-Shell says:

    From the description of the closing day, I would predict Bess won’t attend — that’s a lot. Not even with her (non-Sussex) grand and great grand children being paraded around. Whatever the case, it’s nice she got to enjoy some of the horse show today.

    • Becks1 says:

      It seems to me like she is completely over the pageantry, which makes sense bc if she is in pain and tired and its a lot of effort to get her out of Windsor, then she’s only going to do that for something that is “meaningful” to her. So the horse show means a lot to her, but I don’t think that stupid “galloping through history” means anything to her, so we’ll see if she shows.

      • C-Shell says:

        I agree that she’s over all the pageantry stuff. Showing up today is a pointed, low key message that she’s there for her ponies and the media coverage is less intense than it will be the closing day. To me, the “galloping through history” thing with Bollywood dance routine sounds incredibly colonialist AGAIN or STILL.

      • Debbie says:

        I have a feeling that the queen is conserving her strength and being very selective as to what events she attends. Maybe it’s because she wants to be well-rested for her Jubbly. So, I get the impression that unless the event is VERY important to her, she will abstain.

  21. Amy Bee says:

    The royalists think it’s fantastic that she’s out there in her Land Rover. They really live in an alternate universe.

  22. Becks1 says:

    This is getting so weird at this point. so she was supposed to go, then canceled, then visited her horses at the stables, then went in her range rover, and then ended up in the stands and received a trophy for one of her ponies? So obviously the issue isn’t that she couldn’t walk from the car to the stands. Maybe it is some form of dementia, and they are canceling the events depending on her mood/mental awareness? Like maybe they thought it would be best to pull her out but then after seeing the horses at the stables she seemed okay so they sent her down?

    • windyriver says:

      My sense still is, if dementia were a significant issue, Harry would’ve sounded different when talking to Hoda and, come to think of it, might have visited TQ sooner than last month, even just a quick visit alone.

      Another possibility is serious back problems – and we did hear something about TQ and back problems at some point, didn’t we? Have seen with my dad (arthritis and stenosis) things are often at their worst when first getting up, but slowly improve after medication/moving around/shower. His legs work fine, he has a cane just in case when he’s out of the house, but it’s the back pain that limits how much walking, etc. he’s able to do. He’s not a whole lot more comfortable in a wheelchair. And, not everyday is a good one; sometimes he’s just not into going out. Maybe that’s one reason things with TQ are so unpredictable/last minute. So, maybe she felt better and/or decided that since the horse show which she loves was – right there – she wanted to go.

      Who knows.

      • Eurydice says:

        I was thinking the same thing. And I imagine the Queen’s schedule has always been so heavily micromanaged that a change here and there can cause cascade failure.

      • Becks1 says:

        Serious back problems could maybe explain part of it, but its still the sudden cancellation today and then her re-appearance that was so weird. She wasn’t delayed or whatever, they said she wasn’t going to make it, and then whoops, sorry, we were wrong, here she is!

        I almost wonder if its just as simple as different courtiers have different agendas. So maybe one saw her this morning and said “oh no, you’re not in good shape, you cant go” and then another saw her an hour later and was like “wtf, you’re fine, do you want to hop in the range rover and drive down” and she said sure.

      • Jais says:

        I wonder if the medication she takes to help alleviate any pain also makes her super loopy. So in order to have her feel well enough to be at an event, they have to give her the good stuff and then there’s a worry that she will come across as having dementia and they don’t want that either. It would be a tricky balance. Have no idea if that’s the case. Either way, she was very smiley at the event but weirdly did not seem to interact with Edward much who was sitting right next to her. At least from what I could tell from the photos.

      • windyriver says:

        One thing I do wonder about is the loss of weight between last year and this; it’s so obvious comparing pictures from the 2021 horse show. Aging wouldn’t necessarily account for that. IIRC, we did hear last fall she had to cut back/cut out alcoholic beverages for an undisclosed reason, yes? I’m not the only one who’s remarked TQ has seemed to have bruises on her legs, suggesting she’s possibly taking blood thinners for a circulatory problem. A change in diet might go along with that, and depending on what’s wrong, she could also be on a diuretic, which creates it’s own issues! Nothing like a little armchair medical diagnosing! I wish they’d just tell us what’s going on. She is entitled to some privacy, I suppose, and maybe the powers that be don’t want to get too specific and raise the question of regency, at least not before the Jubbly.

        I like thinking that she was looking out her window this morning, saw the weather was decent and the horse show in the distance, and just said, “screw it, let’s just go!”

    • Maeve says:

      Apparently she walked very very slowly to the stand and they had a lift for the steps, so it might be that she can potter along at her own pace for a short distance. The problem with official events – especially big ones like the State Opening – is that she can’t really go at her at own pace. Everything is timed down to the second – literally, it like “the car will arrive when Big Ben strikes the hour” – and everyone has to hit their marks on cue. The logistics are HUGE. It’s a big difference to going to an event where everyone’s paying more attention to the horses and she’s very much not the main attraction.

      • Becks1 says:

        her missing the state opening actually makes sense to me, just because its a scheduled event that takes a certain amount of time and she has to get dressed up and she cant just peace out after 10 minutes if she’s not feeling well.

        but for almost everything else in her life, its planned down to the second FOR HER. When they’re saying she might not make it on the balcony, which is attached to her own home (I know she’s not living there now but she could have been, or could move back for the weekend, since she is able to travel to sandringham), for the trooping – to me, that says there is something more going on than “she wants to go at her own pace.”

  23. Mslove says:

    Just when you think the queen is ready to pass, there she is with her pink lipstick watching the horses. #KingChuck2030

    • North of Boston says:

      And some folks thought Waity Katey had it rough.

      She’s got nothing on Chuck, rolling through decades, 73 and still no crown.

  24. BlondieR says:

    Having had a 94 year old British grandmother, I can assure all that, even when they seem the least prideful they would rather quietly suffer than take measures to assist them in any way. Be it cane (which mine carried instead of using) or any other type of aid. I’m glad that it seems that her wishes are being respected.

    • [insert_catchy_name] says:

      LOL, we are having this problem with my 80-something year old British grandmother, who has fallen (and broken bones!) a number of times and refuses to use a cane.

    • Oona says:


  25. Over it says:

    She enjoyed last year show didn’t she? She won. She outlived Phil.lol.

  26. Lionel says:

    I’m guessing she changes her mind a lot. My dad has mild dementia and moderate mobility problems. He’ll be all excited to go to some fun event that he normally loves, and then change his mind at the last minute saying he’s too tired, and then 5 minutes later be like “why aren’t we going?” And then it will take half an hour to get him into the car so we’re always late. Definitely makes planning anything a challenge!

    • molly says:

      I think this makes the most sense of all theories.

      Similar to the unpredictability of a toddler: “What kind of mood do you think he’ll be in when he wakes up from his nap? It’s really anyone’s guess…”

    • Amy says:

      My grandma is going through this right now too. She’ll put something in her schedule and prepare for it but as the date gets closer, has increasing anxiety about the event, her mobility, restroom access, a whole litany of things. She’ll often end up cancelling and I truly feel for her, because it must be incredibly difficult to have to go through that. She has dementia as well.

    • Feeshalori says:

      This was how my mom was at 97, confined to a wheelchair and had mood swings with her dementia. Sundowning always played a factor too in her unpredictability.

    • Eggbert says:

      I was also about to bring up the dementia theory because this reminded me of a stage my mom went through (she had Alzheimer’s) where she was just disoriented enough that it could almost be impossible to convince her to go somewhere or stay someplace etc. and she could really dig her heels in and be totally convinced she knew best.

  27. Annesco says:

    Kinda OT but there’s a major commercial/industrial road near my house that’s called Royal Windsor Drive and there are at least a dozen businesses whose names start with Royal Windsor (pub, collision centre, Montessori school, dry cleaner, mechanic, fitness club, u-haul etc). It’s making it hard for me to think of this horse show as such a big deal since I’m picturing it just up the road, in between the chiropractor and the car wash

  28. blunt talker says:

    If they are truly looking after the queen-question why is a 96 year old lady who has a bout already with covid and still has problems with it among other people without a mask? she is already weaker than she was last year-that’s really looking after the queen