After missing the State Opening of Parliament, Queen Elizabeth, 96, resumed her royal duties and made a surprise appearance at Royal Windsor Horse Show on Friday, May 13. The monarch was pictured in the audience sitting between her son Prince Edward and Penny Knatchbull, Countess Mountbatten of Burma. Queen Elizabeth wore a white blouse, black cardigan, and grey skirt, as well as a headscarf, a pair of black closed-toed shoes, and sunglasses. She watched three of her fell ponies compete and was thrilled when one of the, Balmoral Leia, won the Highland Class.
Initially, the Queen reportedly stayed in the passenger’s seat of her Range Rover and chatted with attendees at the start of the show. This was seemingly due to her mobility issues, which kept her from making it to the State Opening of Parliament on May 10. However, the Queen ended up exiting her car and used a stick to walk to her seat in the grandstand at the Windsor Horse Show. She got the loudest cheers when she arrived to the event and left.
The Windsor Horse Show officially kicked off the Queen’s official Platinum Jubilee celebrations. One of the upcoming events involved is the Trooping of the Colour parade on June 2, where members of the royal family stand on the Buckingham Palace balcony. The Queen has already decided that her son Prince Andrew can’t appear, since he was stripped of royal affiliations due to his association with convicted sex-offender Jeffrey Epstein. Her grandson Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle also cannot stand on the balcony, since they are no longer working senior royals.
Still, Harry and Meghan confirmed they’re going to the U.K. with their son Archie, 3, and 11-month-old daughter Lilibet for the event. “Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are excited and honored to attend The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations this June with their children,” a spokesperson said on behalf of the couple, who now live in California.
Despite her health struggles, the Queen has been a busy lady lately. She celebrated her 96th birthday on April 21 and was pictured the day before enjoying a leisurely drive from the passenger’s seat of a Range Rover from Windsor Castle to Sandringham, where the royal family typically holds their Christmas celebrations. The birthday stay at Sandringham was especially poignant, given that Queen Elizabeth recently marked the one-year anniversary of the death of her husband, Prince Philip. He died of natural causes at age 99 on April 9, 2021.