How the Queen’s ‘non-negotiable’ passion shaped the Jubilee celebrations

The Queen is known for her life-long love of horses and they're reportedly a 'great equalizer' for her...

Queen's 'non-negotiable' passion revealed, seen here visiting The Chelsea Flower Show
(Image credit: Photo by Paul Grover - Pool / Getty Images)

The Queen’s “non-negotiable” passion could be seen to have shaped the Jubilee celebrations as it’s claimed it “says quite a lot” that plans fit around one major event. 


In recent months reports have suggested the Queen’s favorite past-time of riding is now somewhat bittersweet as it was claimed she’d paused horse riding due to “discomfort”. However, this hasn’t stopped Her Majesty continuing to take a keen interest in her animals and she was spotted being driven to check up on her horses at Sandringham in April. Whilst the Queen beamed with sheer joy as she received an incredibly rare gift of a Karabakh horse from the  President of Azerbaijan this month.

It seems that horses and equestrian pursuits remain the Queen’s “non-negotiable” passion and it could even be seen to have shaped the Jubilee celebrations…

Queen Elizabeth II, accompanied by her Stud Groom Terry Pendry, seen horse riding in the grounds of Windsor Castle

(Image credit: Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

Getting candid with Harper’s Bazaar (opens in new tab) about the Queen being a life-long equine enthusiast, broadcaster and former champion jockey Clare Balding discussed how it’s definitely not all about the win but the overall racing experience for Britain’s longest reigning monarch. 

The Queen gave Clare and her brother a Shetland pony of their own, Valkyrie, who they learnt to ride on in childhood as their father trained some of Her Majesty’s horses. 

“Her Majesty was always so thrilled to see her,” Clare recalled. “While she is passionate and exceptionally knowledgeable about racing, her love of horses isn’t just about sporting achievement. You can see this in her enthusiasm for Highland ponies - naughty, stocky little things.”

She continued, “If one of hers comes top in show, they might win her a Tesco voucher or something… the prize isn’t the point. Of course, she loves a sweepstake win, too, and the gossip of the racing world.”

Queen Elizabeth II and Sir Michael Stoute (R) in the winners enclosure with Queen Elizabeth's horse 'Estimate' which won The Queen's Vase horse race on day 4 of Royal Ascot

(Image credit: Photo by Indigo/Getty Images)

The broadcaster went on to suggest that horses are very grounding for Her Majesty, adding, “Horses are a great equalizer - a horse isn’t going to behave itself around her because she’s a monarch, and I think she enjoys that.”

And with the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee 2022 weekend almost here, Clare expressed her belief that it’s significant that the schedule fits around the Epsom Derby.

“It says quite a lot that some of the Jubilee celebrations have been arranged to give the Queen time to return from Epsom that evening,” she said. “Whatever the commemorations are, watching the Derby is non-negotiable”. 

Queen Elizabeth II watches the racing as she attends 'Derby Day' of the Investec Derby Festival

(Image credit: Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

The Epsom Derby will take place on the Saturday of the central Jubilee weekend, it’s understood that Her Majesty and members of the extended Royal Family will be making an appearance. It’s believed that the Queen will receive a special tribute in the form of a Guard of Honor from jockeys past and present who’ve ridden her horses over the years. 

The other major event taking place that day will be the Party at the Palace Jubilee concert held at Buckingham Palace later on. Whilst it’s not yet known if fans could see the Queen at both events, the timings do indeed seem to have aligned to make it at least possible for her to enjoy watching the races and enjoying some quality music! 

Emma Shacklock
Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with six years of experience working in digital publishing. Her specialist areas including literature, the British Royal Family and knowing all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and every streaming service out there. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, you can find Emma cooking and watching yet more crime dramas.