The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations got under way with the first major event highlighting one of her greatest passions in life – horses.
A Gallop Through History saw the monarch entertained by dancers, showbiz A-listers and equine stars as the nation recognises her unprecedented 70 years on the throne.
There was a nod to the other Queen Elizabeth, with Dame Helen Mirren donning the guise of the famous Tudor queen of the previous Elizabethan era. She has already played the currant occupant of the throne on stage and screen.
The King’s Troop, which regularly appears at state occasions, was on hand to give the Queen the perfect start to the celebrations of her long rule while her granddaughter Lady Louise Windsor showed that the younger generation is just as skilled in handling horses as she demonstrated carriage riding.
The Queen, whose mobility issues have curtailed her recent public appearances, departed after enjoying a diverse spectacle as she embarks on her eighth decade as head of the monarchy, a role she inherited on the death of her father George VI in 1952.
She departed the scene having clearly enjoyed the curtain raiser of the latest milestone of her long reign.