Queen Elizabeth is well known for her frugality, but she has one extravagance, and that’s lavishing money on her animals, namely her stable of horses. The queen spent a lot of time in Windsor this week, partly to meet her newest great-grandchild, Archie Harrison, but also to meet the double world champion dressage horse Valegro, and to attend the Royal Windsor Horse Show.
According to Express, some in government have raised concern over what the monarch spends on her hobby. Royal finance expert David McClure has called her horse habit a “drain on the private purse.”
“The Queen is famously frugal but her one extravagance is horses. She’s a great lover of the turf. Now this is quite an expensive hobby, at one stage she had about a string of about 20 thoroughbred horses, she had three studs, she had stables.”
McClure says in the year 2000, her hobby was already costing her over $600,000 to manage her stables and the breeding program. He adds that in what she charges for stud fees, she probably takes in some income, which offsets some of her expenses.
Queen Elizabeth still rides regularly, and is an avid attendee of various horse shows around Great Britain.
The queen caught the horse bug at a young age, when she was given her first Shetland pony, a mare named Peggy, on her fourth birthday by her grandfather, King George V. The monarch is a patron for several horse-centric organizations, including British Horse Society, the Fell Pony Society, and the Highland Pony Society.
Queen Elizabeth can often be seen on morning rides with her son, Prince Andrew, says The Inquisitr. She used to ride with her husband, Prince Philip, but at 97, he no longer horseback rides, but he still drives a horse-drawn carriage around the Windsor grounds where he now lives.
The monarch suffered an equine loss earlier this year when her go-to lead carriage horse, PH Keston, passed away. Keston was part of the Mounted Branch of London’s Metropolitan Police often chosen to pull the queen’s carriage for parades, weddings, and other events.
On the Twitter page of the Mounted Police, they posted a tribute to the horse.
“It’s with the greatest of sadness to announce that PH Keston has passed away. PH Keston regularly escorted HM The Queen on various state events and other high profile occasions. He was a real crowd pleaser with people around London. Thank you for your service Keston. Rip.”