Queen relaxes with a special horse ride in first public appearance since lockdown

Sophie Barnes
The Queen enjoys time with Balmoral Fern at Windsor Home Park - Steve Parsons

The Queen has been pictured horse riding in her first public appearance since lockdown began.

Over the weekend she took Balmoral Fern, a 14-year-old fell pony, for a ride in the 655-acre Windsor Home Park.

Her Majesty wore a headscarf featuring jockeys’ silks.

Horse racing, of which the Queen is known to be a huge fan, begins again today after being stopped during the coronavirus lockdown.

 

She has been with the Duke of Edinburgh at Windsor Castle, where she spent her 94th birthday on April 21 in lockdown and has continued official duties.

The Queen delivered her VE Day anniversary message to Britain from Windsor Castle last month, reminding the country to “never give up, never despair”.

She recently sent her best wishes to this year’s “unique” virtual Chelsea Flower Show, commenting that her grandmother Queen Mary would have been delighted to know that gardening had become a national pastime.

The Queen with Balmoral Fern at Windsor - Steve Parsons

In April she made an address to the nation about coronavirus in which she evoked memories of Britain’s Blitz spirit, likening the pain of the lockdown to wartime separation.

It was just the fourth time the Queen has given a special broadcast address in times of crisis or grief, following the Gulf War in 1991, and the deaths of her mother, Queen Elizabeth, and Diana, Princess of Wales.

The Duke of Cambridge and his family have been staying at Anmer Hall in Norfolk during lockdown, while his father, Prince Charles, is at Birkhall in Aberdeenshire.

Prince Charles tested positive for coronavirus in March and isolated separately from the Duchess of Cornwall, who tested negative for the virus.