Queen arrives at Royal Windsor Horse Show in first public appearance since March

Her Majesty has cancelled several public engagements recently, including the State Opening of Parliament on Tuesday

Queen Elizabeth II arrives at the Royal Windsor Horse Show Credit: Stephen Lock / i-Images /i-Images Picture Agency

The Queen has arrived at the Royal Windsor Horse Show, marking the first time she has been seen in public since the Duke of Edinburgh’s memorial service in March.

The Queen, 96, was driven the short distance from Windsor Castle to the Copper Horse Arena at the show in Home Park.

Wearing sunglasses, she wound down the window and sat in the passenger seat as she waited for the event to begin. 

The Queen was cheered by the public as her pony Balmoral Leia won first place in the Highland class. She stayed to watch the Fell class, in which she had three entries.

The Windsor Horse Show is thought to be one of the Queen’s favourite events of the year.

The event is thought to be one of Her Majesty's favourite of the year Credit: James Whatling /James Whatling Photography

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.

Last year, the Queen drove herself to the show Credit: Max Mumby/Indigo /Getty Images Europe

This week, she is expected to show 41 animals, compared with 23 or 24 in a usual year, which organisers said reflected the quality of her entries. Today, she is due to show 14 horses in eight competitions.

Yesterday, the Queen opted to visit her horses privately rather than attend the first day of the 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.

The Queen couldn't stop beaming as she arrived Credit: Steve Parsons /PA

The Queen was handed a programme through the window and sat chatting to officials throughout the brief event. 

She beamed throughout and looked delighted to be there.

Her appearance will allay fears about her health after she pulled out of the State Opening of Parliament on Tuesday.