My middle name is Elizabeth, a fashion at a particular time and a bit of a giveaway on age!
The Queen was a constant in my life. I know so many people have said this, but her presence and strength are something so many value and we probably all took for granted. She was always there.
As a rider and owner of horses, the Royal Family’s passion for all things equine touches a particular nerve. I think Her Majesty’s connection with the equestrian world has made her very special to many riders and owners. She missed the state opening of Parliament this year but did go to the Royal Windsor Horse Show – go, girl!
When I was a child, the Royal Family’s involvement with horses was pretty full-on because at least two of the Queen’s children were involved in high-level equestrian sports and the Duke of Edinburgh created and then participated in the sport of competitive carriage driving.
I was privileged enough to present Her Royal Highness Anne, Princess Royal, with an award in 2014. She is President of World Horse Welfare, an international equine and rehabilitation charity and speaks every year at their Annual Conference in London. I had done some pretty special things with one of their ponies in 2014 and in recognition of this was chosen to present an award to Princess Anne. We immediately struck up a conversation about horses. I expect if it had been the Queen, it would have been the same.
We always look for connections as human beings with other people, and common ground, and when it comes to the Queen, mine clearly is horses. However, on a more fundamental level, like so many other thousands of people, to me, the Queen represented matriarchal security and constancy. I think this is what we are all going to miss about our future without her