The Queen as you've never seen her: Her Majesty runs to see horse win

The Queen as you’ve never seen her before: Her Majesty runs to watch horse she’d bet on win the Epsom Derby in an incredibly rare unguarded moment

  • A ultra-rare video of the Queen running has re-emerged after her death 
  • Her Majesty runs through a private box to watch a horse win the Epsom Derby
  • The horse’s victory won her $27 in the Royal Family’s sweepstakes 

Incredible vision of Queen Elizabeth II running to the on-course balcony to catch a glimpse of a horse winning the time-honoured Epsom Derby has re-emerged after her death last week aged 96. 

Her Majesty’s love of horses and racing is well-documented, with the vision from 1991 showing just how much she was invested in, and enjoyed, both the animals and the sport throughout her remarkable life.

Appearing on the 1992 BBC documentary Elizabeth R, the Queen and other members of the Royal Family are seen at Epsom for the 1991 Derby, taking part in the grand racing tradition of a low-money sweepstakes.

Her Majesty draws Generous from the hat in the sweep, and stands inside in the box to watch the 2420-metre race on the television.

As the horses turn onto the straight, Generous emerges with a handy lead.  

The Queen runs through the room with binoculars in hand to watch the three-year-old stallion get over the line from the balcony, which is opposite the finishing post. 

‘That’s my horse, isn’t it? That’s my horse!’ the Queen said while turning to her mother as she looks at Generous. 

‘Oh my god, Mother! We won!’

Queen Elizabeth often couldn’t hide her happiness when she stopped to pat a horse – such as this one at the Royal Windsor Horse Show

After the monarch watched the winning horse and trainer come back to parade in front of the excited crowd, an aide presented her with her winnings.

‘What do I get?’ Her Majesty asked, with the aide replying: ‘Well, you get 16, Ma’am.’ 

‘Sixteen pounds! Oh!’ she exclaimed.

It is believed the Queen never made bets aside from the Royal Family’s annual sweepstake at the Epsom Derby. 

Queen Elizabeth II was so excited to see her sweep win the Epsom Derby in 1991, she took off running through the suite

Earlier in the program there was another heartwarming scene in which the Monarch tells her mother it is nice to be on-course to watch the racing, rather than staring at a television. 

‘Do you know I’ve not watched with a pair of binoculars for ages, look at it pouring with tears, I always watch on the television,’ said the Queen. 

Many have remarked over the years that the Queen was happiest and most relaxed when she was talking about horses. 

At the time of her death, she’d won 534 races from 3,205 runs as a racehorse owner and it is thought she made $13.1million from her hobby over the last 31 years.

Biographer Ben Pimlott quoted a horse-world confidante in his book, The Queen, when he described her passion for the animals and the sport.

‘She is very interested in stable management — and happiest with the minutiae of the feed, the quality of the wood chipping and so forth,’ he wrote.

The Queen (pictured cantering at Ascot ahead of a meeting in June 1961) had ‘such an affinity with her horses’ according to her racing adviser John Warren

Top trainer Richard Hannon Senior said Her Majesty’s horse knowledge put many highly credentialed trainers to shame.

‘I always had to do my homework when I ran one of Her Majesty’s horses or when she came to visit our stables,’ he said.

‘She knows all the pedigrees of her horses inside out. There’s no small talk when discussing her horses. She knows all the bloodlines going back decades.

‘She also used to say to me after a stable tour, ‘It’s nice to come to a place that doesn’t smell of fresh paint’.’ 

The Queen was full of joy, watching her filly Estimate win the 2013 Ascot Gold Cup – her racecourse

It was a view shared by her racing adviser John Warren. 

‘If the Queen wasn’t the Queen, she would have made a wonderful trainer. She has such an affinity with her horses and is so perceptive,’ Warren once said.

The British Horseracing Authority paid tribute to the much-loved monarch as it suspended race meetings when news of her death broke. 

‘All of British Racing is in mourning today following the passing of Her Majesty The Queen. Her passion for racing and the racehorse shone brightly throughout her life,’ the authority said in a statement. 

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