Happy 96th birthday, Queen Elizabeth!
In honor of the monarch’s 96th birthday, a new portrait was released by the Royal Windsor Horse Show on Wednesday evening. The photo was taken last month on the grounds of Windsor Castle and shows the Queen standing between her two ponies, Bybeck Katie and Bybeck Nightingale. In the photo she is wearing a forest green cape and holding the reins of her fell ponies in front of a magnolia tree.
The Queen plans to celebrate her birthday privately this year, according to a statement from the palace. On Wednesday, the monarch traveled from Windsor Castle to her Sandringham estate which is where she will be celebrating the special occasion.
Queen Elizabeth has loved horses since a young age and was given her first horse, a Shetland pony, when she was just four years old. Riding horses has become a part of her routine, but she reportedly hasn’t ridden since early September. “She was in quite a bit of discomfort,” a source told The Sun in October. “She adores riding, and it has been part of her ritual for most of her life. She has been extremely disappointed not to go riding since the beginning of September.”
The Queen’s love for horseback riding is a trait that has been passed down through the generations. Princess Anne, the Queen’s daughter, became the first British royal to compete in the Olympics where she participated at the 1976 Games in Montreal in the equestrian three-day event.