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Queen Elizabeth makes surprise appearance at Windsor Horse Show amid ‘episodic mobility issues’


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Queen Elizabeth made a surprise appearance among the crowds at the Windsor Horse Show on Friday.

The reigning monarch was driven from her Windsor Castle home to see three of her Fell ponies take part in the race. The 96-year-old was all smiles as she watched comfortably from her Range Rover. Later, she was overjoyed when one of her ponies, Balmoral Leia, won the Highland class.

The beaming queen dressed up for the outing, sporting a sweater and a collared shirt. She completed her look with a bright pink lipstick. After being led into the main area, she was seen slowly walking towards an elevator using a cane. She sat in the stands with her son, Prince Edward. Her great-granddaughter, Lady Louise Windsor, was in the saddle of Prince Philip’s car as she led a parade in the arena.

PRINCE CHARLES ATTRACTED BY THE CROWD, IN GOOD SPIRIT AFTER THE DELIVERY OF THE QUEEN’S SPEECH AT THE OPENING OF PARLIAMENT

Queen Elizabeth II looks at the horses from her Range Rover at the Royal Windsor Horse Show at Home Park on May 13, 2022 in Windsor, England.
(Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

It is the first time Elizabeth has been seen in public since attending the service of thanksgiving for her late husband in March. The Windsor Horse Show is one of her favorite annual events and she usually attends.

On Tuesday, the Queen missed the official opening of Parliament due to “episodic mobility issues”. Prince Charles then delivered the Queen’s Speech for the first time. The Queen’s decision to delegate her role to Charles is likely to be seen by the public as evidence that a transition is underway, with the monarch remaining on the throne but handing more responsibility to her eldest son.

She’s only missed the speech twice before. The first was in 1959, during the later stages of her pregnancy with Prince Andrew and again in 1963 before Edward was born. On both occasions, Parliament was opened by a Royal Commission, with the speech delivered by the President.

Queen Elizabeth makes surprise appearance at Windsor Horse Show amid ‘episodic mobility issues’

The Royal Windsor Horse Show, said to be the Queen’s favorite annual event, takes place as Her Majesty celebrates 70 years of service.
(Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Horses played a central role in Elizabeth’s life. She received her first horse, a Shetland pony, when she was only 4 years old. She is known for her encouragement at horse races, which she frequently attends. Although she is an avid rider, she has reportedly not ridden since early September due to mobility issues.

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Buckingham Palace did not elaborate on what it called “episodic mobility issues”, but the Queen has struggled to get around in recent months. She has been seen using a cane on some occasions and Andrew escorted her to Westminster Abbey last month for the memorial service for Philip.

Queen Elizabeth makes surprise appearance at Windsor Horse Show amid ‘episodic mobility issues’

Queen Elizabeth II receives the winners cup at the Royal Windsor Horse Show at Home Park on May 13, 2022 in Windsor, England.
(Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

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Elizabeth, who only recently recovered from a bout of COVID-19, is also gearing up for four days of festivities celebrating her Platinum Jubilee which are scheduled for June 2-5.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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