Duchess of Cornwall visits Vienna's Spanish Riding School on last leg of Europe tour

Robert Jobson
Royal visit: The Duchess of Cornwall meets horses at the Spanish Riding School in Vienna: Getty Images

The Duchess of Cornwall was treated to a special performance by Vienna's celebrated Spanish Riding School today on the final leg of her European tour with Prince Charles.

Camilla spent more than an hour at the riding school in central Vienna while her husband went off to undertake his own solo royal duties.

The Duchess, a keen fan of equestrian sports, was shown around by Elisabeth Gurtler, the school's director, and toured the stables before watching a special performance in her honour in the Winter Riding School.

The horses and riders put on a display of classical equitation in the Renaissance tradition of the Haute Ecole. The school is listed on UNESCO’s list of intangible cultural heritage of humanity.

The Duchess of Cornwall (left) and Elisabeth Guertler, Director of the Spanish Riding School (EPA)

"It was wonderful," Camilla said after the performance. "The last time I was here was in 1970," she added, after touring the historic buildings in the 450-year-old UNESCO-listed riding school, which takes the Spanish part of its name from the Lippizaner stallions, bred from horses originating from the Iberian peninsula in the 16th century.

​Camilla armed herself with sugar lumps to tour the stables and treat the horses. "I normally bring my polo mints but I've forgotten them today," she said.

After the performance, she met the riders at a reception in a room above the Winter Riding School.