Royal Windsor Horse Show pageant to recreate Victorian Britain

An equine pageant is taking place at next year’s Royal Windsor Horse Show (8 to 12 May) to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Queen Victoria.

More than 400 horses, 30 carriages and 500 people are taking part in the 90-minute show, which is to be presented by Alan Titchmarsh, on the evenings of Thursday to Saturday, 9 to 11 May.

The pageant is choreographed by Dougie Squies, MVO, who was responsible for the stage direction of the Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations in 2016 (pictured).

“2019 is the anniversary of the birth of not only Queen Victoria, but also her husband, Prince Albert. It gives us an opportunity to celebrate the Victoria era and the massive part the horse had to play in war, work and leisure during that period,” said Simon Brooks-Ward, director of HPower which organises Royal Windsor Horse Show.

Horses from all over the world will be taking part. Alongside the Household Cavalry and The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery come the Czikos from Hungary and the acrobatic Land of Fire Display from Azerbaijan.

Dancers from music halls are joining performers from Gilbert and Sullivan operas in the floodlit main Castle Arena before Windsor Castle. A Balmoral dressage quadrille is among the other displays announced so far.

“From the Charge of the Light Brigade and Tennyson’s famous poem to the rowdy music hall and London scene complete with costers and hansom cabs, from Balmoral and a Scottish reel on horses there is plenty of material to work with,” added Mr Brooks-Ward.

There are 3,500 seats for sale for each night of the performance with ticket prices ranging from £35 to £59.

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“With the music of Gilbert & Sullivan, Elgar and others and the narrative of Queen Victoria’s diaries, we aim to produce a gallop through a colourful and exciting time in our history,” Mr Brooks-Ward said.

The pageant is a not-for-profit making event with any surplus funds being donated to charitable causes.

Also featuring at the show will be the usual combination of five-star showjumping, CDI4* dressage, the Land Rover International Driving Grand Prix and CEI2* endurance, as well as more than 120 showing classes, mounted games and the Shetland Pony Grand National.