Five hundred horses and 800 performers from 17 countries will gather at Windsor Castle for a special event next May to mark The Queen’s diamond jubilee.
“The World Comes To Windsor” will be an equine extravaganza to celebrate the 250 state and Commonwealth visits The Queen has made during her 60-year reign.
As well as performances by the Household Cavalry and King’s Troop RHA, there will be displays by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, American cowboys, bedouins on grey Arabs, Marwari horses from India, the Carabiniere from France and Cossacks.
“This is an international event with a fantastic line-up of equestrian non-competitive displays,” said Simon Brooks-Ward, producer of the event.
“To put it into context, Queen Victoria was the only other British monarch to celebrate a diamond jubilee – in 1897 – so for this to be happening in our lifetime is an historic occasion.”
Some of The Queen’s racing and showing stars will also parade, but it has not yet been decided which ones.
There will be just three days of rehearsals and 320 horses will be flown in from abroad. Mr Brooks-Ward added that the only section without equine representation will be Africa, due to tough quarantine rules.
The display will run over three nights – Thursday-Friday, 10-11 May and Sunday, 13 May 2012 – taking the audience “around the world in 60 years and 90 minutes”.
It will run in the evenings after the Royal Windsor Horse Show – there will be no Royal Tattoo next year – and more than 12,000 visitors are expected. The Queen will attend on Sunday and coverage will be broadcast by ITV.
Former news presenter Angela Rippon, who is ambassador for the event, said: “This will demonstrate The Queen’s lifetime of duty on behalf of the country and lifelong passion for horses. The two will be brought together and I think she will love it.”
Tickets cost between £30-100. Visit: www.diamond-jubilee-pageant.com.
This news story was first published in the current issue of Horse and Hound (10 November, 2011)