A Hands-On Monarch
Being Queen of England, it would not be surprising that she hires someone to do the horse-related work for her. Yet, she is a hands-on monarch and visits her stables, the Royal Stud at Sandringham, once a year to check on breeding and on the horses’ state. She is said to own around 30 racehorses, which is not a large number when compared to other international horse racing moguls, but it demonstrates the quality put into their training and overall well-being.
The Queen is said to have a passion for horses that spans her entire life and this passion is certainly evident with her keen interest in horse racing as a whole, as well as in the health and wellness of her own horses. Once a horse has passed its prime, it has been reported that she is concerned that it goes to a good home. A couple of years ago, Town and Country reported the Queen’s racing adviser, John Warren, as saying (in an interview with The Telegraph in 2008) that regarding horses, “Her Majesty closely follows their development.” He added that “If the Queen wasn’t the Queen, she would have made a wonderful trainer … [as she] … has such an affinity with horses and is so perceptive.”
Making Money off Horse Racing
This sport is so popular that some of the UK’s best sports-betting sites offer numerous fixtures and opportunities to bet the most iconic horse races taking place in the country. Horse racing is certainly one of the most famous sports in the UK and let’s face it: the Royal role is significant! Queen Elizabeth II is a millionaire, worth about $550 million, which makes her the wealthiest monarch in Europe. Most of her net worth comes from property like Balmoral Castle and government money. She is therefore not short of funds, to put it mildly. However, her passion and hobby have not been limited to fun. They’ve also brought her additional wealth with reports indicating that she’s raked in nearly $9.5 million from her horses. Between 1988 and 2017, the Queen Elizabeth horses ran in 2830 races, winning 451 of these, meaning that her thoroughbreds won about 16% of the time, according to data from myracing.com.
With these wins, she’s earned around $9.4 million, bringing her to the 11th spot as the most successful owner of horse racing on a flat course. One of her best years was 2016 when the Queen Elizabeth horses earned over $775,000. Warren added that the Queen reportedly keeps a good perspective on her wins and her losses. “Her Majesty lets fate take its course—and accepts what happens. When it comes to the Queen Elizabeth horses, she always looks forward and never dwells on the past. She is never melancholy,” Warren said. “Instead, she is very level, accepting and straightforward—I suppose that is what has made her such an amazing monarch.”
The Royal Ascot
According to the New York Times, the Royal Ascot is a premier sports event that is truly royal. There are many horse racing events that take place throughout the UK, such as at the two racecourses nearby Leeds, but there is nothing like the Royal Ascot! It is a five-day thoroughbred race meeting which takes place in England in June each year and has been attended by the Queen every year since 1945. Ascot Racecourse, which is about 25 miles outside of London, was founded by Queen Anne in 1711. It hosts racing throughout the year, but the Royal meeting, which runs from Tuesday to Saturday, is the highlight of its calendar. Nick Smith, Ascot’s Director of Racing and Communications said: “We are in a unique and privileged position, and we never, ever take it for granted or even forget how different and how special Royal Ascot is because of the Queen,” adding that the Queen is “a passionate racing enthusiast, and she enjoys her week at the Royal Ascot immensely.”
The racing event draws in about 300,000 people each year and before racing commences each day, the Queen and her companions arrive in horse-drawn carriages that make their way up the racecourse with great fanfare. Known as the Royal Procession, this event is as anticipated as watching the racehorses compete later in the afternoon. The Queen has lunch at nearby Windsor Castle with her family and invited guests during Royal Ascot before taking part in the Royal Procession.
At noon, the public is told who will be on that day’s procession. The Queen and other members of her family also award trophies in the winner’s enclosure and visit the parade ring to admire the racehorses. “She is totally absorbed in every race, and there’s not much that distracts her from absorbing that information,” said Warren.
The Queen has had winners at the Royal Ascot through the years, with her filly, Estimate, winning the meeting’s contest, the Group 1 Ascot Gold Cup. Now a member of the Queen’s broodmare band, Estimate is currently in foal to Frankel. Estimate’s first foal is a two-year-old named Calculation, and he is training with Sir Michael Stoute.
A Passion for Horses
According to journalist and author, Julian Muscat, as cited by CNN, the Queen has a strong affection and passion for horses. Warren describes it as an “in-built passion” which started when she was a teenager and she had little ponies.
Thereafter, her father introduced her to a thoroughbred. Warren added that she got “addicted” to horses at a very young age and that that “nothing has diminished or changed over all these years.” Muscat, on the other hand, states that when it comes to winning, the Queen cares less about winning than being able to give her horses the chance to be the best they can be. “She can content herself with the knowledge that she has given it the best chance in life,” he said.