The extended Royal Family gathered for a celebration for The Queen’s 90th birthday yesterday evening, at the culmination of the Royal Windsor Horse Show.
A gala event, focussed around horses, one of Her Majesty’s passions, took place on the last day of the Royal Windsor Horse Show, which takes place at Windsor Castle.
Members of the Royal Family also participated in the event, with Princess Anne, and daughter Zara Tindall featuring, as well as Prince Edward and Lady Louise, all keen equestrians.
Her Majesty arrived with The Duke of Edinburgh in a horse-drawn carriage, and was greeted by her son, Prince Charles, who kissed The Queen’s cheek and hand.
The group, accompanied by Camilla, made their way to the Royal box, where they joined The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry, The Duke of York, Princess Beatrice and sister Eugenie, Princess Alexandra and The Duke of Kent, The Countess of Wessex, Viscount Severn, and Peter and Autumn Phillips, amongst others.
Members of Europe’s Royal Families were also in attendance, with Catherine seated next to Donatus, Prince and Landgrave of Hesse, while Prince William kept the Landgravine company. Also there were Bahrain Royals, who are heavily involved in supporting the annual show, which Her Majesty attends.
The show was a mix of horse riding and exhibition, mixed with song and retelling the story of The Queen’s 90 years, hosted by TV duo Ant and Dec.
Gary Barlow performed ‘Something About This Night’ from the musical Finding Neverland, while husband and wife team Jim Carter and Imelda Staunton, narrated and sang about Princess Elizabeth’s childhood.
Dame Helen Mirren took the audience through the Second World War and the young Princess’ life at the time, followed by the love story of Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh, who married in 1947.
After the recounting of the 1953 coronation, Katherine Jenkins gave a rendition of ‘I Vow To Thee My Country’, apt since The Queen has dedicated her whole life to her job as Sovereign.
The Queen’s love of racing was recreated by a Grand National race staged in the arena with Shetland ponies.
Princes Philip, William and Harry were in the Windsor Uniform, the dress for male Royals at Windsor Castle, with distinctive red collar and cuffs. Prince Charles appears to have been in standard black tie attire.
As Kylie Minogue performed, Jean-Francois Pignon entertained the crowds with a performing Shetland pony. Other highlights included the Top Secret Drum Corps from Switzerland and the Middle Eastern fantasy of the Royal Cavalry of Oman.
Her Majesty looked to be having a great evening, clapping and smiling along.
Some of The Queen’s own horses featured, ridden by numerous members of her family. The Princess Royal, The Earl of Wessex and Lady Louise Windsor rode three of Elizabeth II’s steed, while granddaughter Zara Tindall rode her eventing horse, Toytown.
Over 900 horses took part in the gala, alongside 600 Armed Forces personnel, including the New Zealand Army Band, who played the theme from the film Chariots Of Fire.
Dec paid tribute to the Monarch: “Congratulations to you Ma’am on a remarkable milestone – 90 magnificent years – as a Princess and a truly inspirational monarch.
“Throughout your reign you’ve represented our nation with integrity and modesty and on behalf of 12 nations, 600 members of your Armed Forces, 900 horses, not to mention the dogs, the cattle and the regimental goat, on behalf of the 1,500 participants here tonight we would like to wish you a very happy birthday, Your Majesty.”
Dame Shirley Bassey closed the show with ‘Diamonds Are Forever’ and ‘Happy Birthday’.