Camilla discusses the Queen’s love for horse racing
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The Royal Family are known for owning, breeding and riding horses in their spare time, with the Queen being especially invested in the pastime. Queen Elizabeth II finally made it to Royal Ascot on the last day of the festival to watch her horse Tactical, who came in seventh place. She looked thrilled to be back at the races, after missing last year’s due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In an interview with ITV News Racing, her daughter-in-law Camilla spoke fondly of the Queen’s “encyclopedic knowledge” of horse-racing.
She told presenter Oli Bell: “I think this is her passion in life, and she loves it and you can tell how much she loves it.
“She can tell you every horse she’s bred and owned, from the very beginning, she doesn’t forget anything.
“I can hardly remember what I bred a year ago, so she’s encyclopedic about her knowledge.”
Describing the Queen as “the biggest expert of all time” on the subject, she added: “You wouldn’t want to think you know better because she does have all the answers.”
Not only is Royal Ascot an enjoyable occasion for the Royal Family, who are almost universally horse-lovers, it is also a big event in the calendar for a public display of royal pageantry.
All the senior royals tend to show their faces including the Queen, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, Princess Anne, Zara Tindall, Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge.
They ride in on carriages and spark up much discussion over their outfits.
When Camilla was asked if Royal Ascot is “the” week for the Queen, Camilla said: “I think it is. Everybody who loves racing, it’s the most special week.”
It has been suggested that Camilla may be lined up to be the new “Queen of racing” after Her Majesty.
Pod Save the Queen is hosted by Ann Gripper and features Daily Mirror royal editor Russell Myers.
Ms Gripper said: “It was interesting being talked about whether Camilla is being lined up to be the new Queen of racing as and when…”
Daily Mirror deputy political editor Ben Glaze, who was a guest on the show this week, joked: “One might say she is being groomed for the role.”
Laughing at the pun, Mr Myers said: “This is the sort of content we’ve been missing! The sky is the limit!”
He then added that Camilla’s comments in her chat to ITV News racing were “really nice”.
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He said: “She’s been talking about how essentially the Queen is the oracle of horse-racing and her encyclopedic knowledge of horse-racing knows no bounds and speaking about the Queen and her passion.
“It’s her life passion, is what she was saying, in terms of what she’s most interested in.”
Camilla told ITV News Racing that it was “so odd” not being at Ascot last year, when the event was held digitally due to the pandemic.
The Duchess said she hoped that royal patronage of racing would continue.
She said: “I hope it will continue. Royal Patronage of racing is extremely important for the whole industry.”
Queen arrives at Royal Ascot for final day
The Queen has been patron of Royal Ascot since coming to the throne in 1952 and, despite handing over some of her patronages when she turned 90 and scaling back some of her duties, she continued to attend every day of the race meeting until last year.
In 2013, she became the first reigning monarch to win the Royal Ascot Gold Cup with her horse Estimate.
Camilla recalled: “We were all shouting and screaming and yelling and you could tell, even Her Majesty was so excited.
“You could just see the smile on her face afterwards.”
Camilla also described how she was brought up with ponies and went riding after school.
One particularly memorable event was at the Ditchling Horse Show when her horse Jack Sprat ripped the skirt of Dame Vera Lynn.
While her mother was in “hysterics”, Vera Lynn reportedly took it “extremely well”.
She also described how Prince Charles loved competing as an amateur jockey in his youth.
The Duchess also promoted a charity she is patron of called the Ebony Horse Club based in Brixton, south London, which aims to use horses to help the well-being and education of disadvantaged young people.
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