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Coronavirus: Queen rides pony in castle grounds in first public appearance since lockdown

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The Queen has been spotted riding one of her ponies in the grounds of Windsor Castle, in her first public appearance since the lockdown began.

Photographs show the royal sporting a colourful headscarf and a tweed jacket, jodhpurs, white gloves and boots in the sunshine.

She regularly rides in the grounds of Windsor and was this time seen riding a 14-year-old Fell Pony named Balmoral Fern.

The Queen and Princess Anne riding at Ascot in 1975

The 94-year-old has been a passionate horse lover and breeder of thoroughbred racehorses throughout her reign.

The last public picture of the Queen showed her being driven to her Windsor Castle home on 19 March, days before the lockdown started.

One of her two corgis – who are named Candy and Vulcan – was seen next to her through the car window.

The day before her planned departure from Buckingham Palace, the Queen carried out her official duties, but held her weekly audience with the prime minister over the phone rather than face to face.

She has made two televised addresses to the nation during lockdown, the first of which she used to tell the public “we will meet again”.

Her second address took place on VE Day, when she told viewers: “When I look at our country today, and see what we are willing to do to protect and support one another, I say with pride that we are still a nation those brave soldiers, sailors and airmen would recognise and admire.”

“Never give up, never despair – that was the message of VE Day,” she added.

The Queen is currently staying with the Duke of Edinburgh at Windsor Castle and is likely joined by a small group of household staff.

She spent her 94th birthday on 21 April in lockdown, and although she usually travels to Balmoral for her summer break, is expected to remain at her current home.

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