The Royal Family are known for their love of horses – from the Queen’s long-running passion for racing, to Princess Anne and Zara Tindall’s careers as Olympic equestrians. Now, the late Duke of Edinburgh’s youngest granddaughter, Lady Louise Windsor, is the most likely candidate to inherit her grandfather’s carriage and two driving ponies, in a touching nod to their shared passion for the sport.
According to Hello! magazine, the 17-year-old royal has long been a carriage driving enthusiast like her grandfather. She was photographed partaking in her favourite hobby just last week in Windsor, showing her skill as an accomplished young driver.
Prince Philip, who sadly died on 9 April aged 99, was the owner of a dark green, four wheeled-carriage and two Fell ponies who pulled it, Balmoral Nevis and Notlaw Storm. An active carriage-driver well into his later years, the Duke began using his most recent carriage aged 91. Custom-built to his specifications from aluminium and steel, based on his extensive knowledge of FEI (Federation Equestre Internationale) driving, it was the Duke’s favoured way of riding around Windsor and other royal estates.
In a sweet personal touch during the Duke’s funeral on Saturday, the ponies and carriage were placed in the Quadrangle at Windsor Castle to look on during the procession. On its seat was laid Philip’s memorable cap, whip and brown driving gloves, and his special red pot – used to hold sugar lumps for the ponies – was also nearby.
Lady Louise, the daughter of Prince Edward and the Countess of Wessex, is known to have been close to her late grandfather. As recently as 2019, Philip was photographed looking on as his granddaughter competed in the Private Driving Singles carriage drive at the Royal Windsor Horse Show, where she secured third place. In May 2020, the Countess of Wessex praised Louise’s driving talents in an interview, commenting: ‘She is naturally so good at it, she really is. It’s something that she has taken to very well.’
For her grandfather’s funeral on Saturday, Lady Louise paid her own special tribute to the late royal, wearing a brooch featuring a horse’s head and whip.
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