A horse, corgi coats and a bag of salt — gifts fit for The Queen

  • A horse was among the presents received by the Queen in her 90th birthday year, an official list released by Buckingham Palace has revealed.

     The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) gifted the horse to the monarch — their “commissioner in chief” — when they took part in her birthday celebrations at Royal Windsor last year.

     The Queen named the horse Sir John in recognition of Canada’s first prime minister and founder of the “Mounties”, Sir John MacDonald.

    It is not the first time she has been presented with a horse by the Canadian force. Her favourite equine partner Burmese was given to her by the RCMP at Royal Windsor in 1969. She rode the black mare at the Trooping of the Colour every year from then until she was retired in 1986.

    Equestrian gifts were a popular choice for the horse-loving monarch, with several appearing among the 81 items listed.

    A number recognised her active interest in racing, including a brooch depicting the Epsom landscape and racecourse presented by the Jockey Club, of which she is patron.

    She also received a pastel drawing of her receiving the Ascot Gold Cup, following her horse Estimate’s victory in 2013.

    The Chinese Community of Britain gifted a traditional Chinese silk painting of a white horse but a rather more ostentatious equestrian artwork was presented during the horse show at Royal Windsor by the Royal Cavalry of Oman.

    Their large bronze sculpture depicts a black carriage pulled by no fewer than 40 horses — 12 greys and 28 bays — and driven by two Omani men in turquoise costume and headdress.

    The Kent branch of the British Driving Society (BDS) sent The Queen a canvas print of drivers and carriages in front of traditional oast houses.

    The picture was taken by photographer Melody Fisher during the branch’s annual show at the Hop Farm, Paddock Wood.

     “The Queen has been BDS patron before and has supported the BDS annual show every year, giving out the sashes to the champions — I don’t think any other show can say that, even Royal Windsor, so I wanted to do something,” said Kent BDS area commissioner Antonia Gallop.

    “We put a notice up in the secretary’s tent at the show inviting competitors to join in if they wanted to be part of the picture. We got a lovely letter back which we plan to frame and display at the show next year.”

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    The Queen’s corgis weren’t forgotten in the haul of presents. The Borough of Maidenhead and Windsor gave her four padded maroon dog coats emblazoned with their coat of arms.

    While there was also a selection of classic gifts — such as chocolates, a huge Nebuchadnezzar bottle of champagne, and hampers of food and drink —more unusual items included a purple bag of salt, presented by the people of the British Virgin Islands.

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