The Sport of Kings
In fact, racing has expressed its sorrow over the passing of one of its most ardent supporters. Over a hundred horses, including several thoroughbred racehorses that have won numerous races, were owned by Queen Elizabeth II. These animals now appear to be going to Camilla, her daughter-in-law.
No horsing about when it comes to racing
Although the Queen has always taken the family’s place as the leading horsewoman, both Camilla and King Charles have owned thoroughbreds of their own. And over the years, their horses have participated in important sporting competitions like Ascot and Cheltenham.
The Royal colours
The Queen had more than a thousand wins throughout her reign by riders who wore her famous racing silks – a purple body with gold braid, scarlet sleeves, and a black velvet cap.
A good return
Earlier this year, these animals earned The Late Queen more than £300,000 in prize money in one season.
Doesn’t quite add up
There are currently 50 horses said to be in the Late Queen’s stables, and according to Tatler, maintaining the stables costs about £1.5 million annually, plainly indicating a loss in revenue.
A stream-lined monarchy
It is widely known that King Charles is aiming for a more stream-lined monarchy: reflecting the times and, in particular, the current costs of living. Tatler was told by a source that it is ‘unlikely’ King Charles would want to keep 40 to 50 horses with 10 trainers; “he will want to slim down the operation,” they said.
Camilla to be new front woman?
While Charles is known to like horses, he is not particularly enamored of them, unlike his wife, Camilla, thus there may be a conflict of interest when it comes to “slimming down” the monarchy when it comes to horses.
Camilla has a love of racing
After consulting with a senior racing source, The Times was the first to announce that Queen Camilla was anticipated to take over the stables. According to their source, Camilla “has a true passion of racing and will be the one who communicates with the trainers each day in the manner the Queen had.”
A matter of interest
According to Tatler, John Warren, Queen Elizabeth II’s former racing advisor, previously said of Charles: “He has always followed it, but it has been his mother’s interest so it has been at arm’s length. He owns a few horses himself, in particular with the [then] Duchess of Cornwall. She is absolutely besotted by racing.”
But King Charles did have a history with horses
Prince Charles at the time wished to learn what it was like from the viewpoint of a jockey. To better appreciate the level of fitness required for the sport, he wanted to watch the races from the riding seat. When he was 31 years old, he started riding horses for fun, but he never developed the same passion for them as his mother did.
The horsing world turns to Camilla
King Charles’ wife, however, has always been passionate about horses. A senior racing source told The Mail on Sunday: “I think now it will be Camilla – she will be the figurehead.”
A woman extremely interested in horses
The wife of the King has a long relationship with horses. Like Her Late Majesty, she loved to ride and had horses as a child. Over a hundred organizations and charities, including British Equestrian, have the Queen Consort as their patron.
Camilla’s wealth of knowledge when it comes to horses
Founder of Horseback UK, ex-marine Jock Hutchison even commented on Camilla’s knowledge of horses, saying he was “very impressed.” The charity Camilla went to visit, helps rehabilitate veterans through their work with the animals.
Camilla on Queen Elizabeth
How much would it mean to Camilla if she were to take on the responsibility of caring for the Late Queen’s beloved animals? Camilla recalls with affection how important the Queen’s horses and ponies were to her and how meticulous she was about their upbringing.
Do not question the Queen
“You wouldn’t dare question her or argue with her on how horses are bred or how it ran because you’d get a very steely, blue-eyed look back again,” Camilla, Queen Consort recalled, per The Daily Mail.
Camilla may need to brush up on her knowledge
Despite Camilla’s love of horses, The Late Queen’s perseverance may have been the key to the horses’ success. ITV Racing heard Camilla say: “She doesn’t forget anything, so she could tell you about every horse she has ever owned or bred. She is encyclopedic in her knowledge, but I can hardly recall what I bred a year ago.”
The Queen in her later years
Her Majesty still rode horses up to the age of 96 on the grounds of Windsor Castle and while staying at Balmoral Castle. The British Horseracing Authority released a statement saying: “Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II left an indelible mark on our sport and her legacy will continue to be felt, not only through the horses that will continue to run in the name of the King.”
In the name of the King
The inheritance has, of course, been directly passed down to Camilla’s first-born son, King Charles III, despite the fact that it is believed she will be managing the stables and horses.
Others also interested in the Queen’s horses
The Express reported that not all the horses may be going to the next monarchs. Princess Anne and Zara Tindall have their eye on a few and other owners and breeders are reportedly interested in purchasing some of the Queen’s horses. How many will Camilla be left with?