Queen Elizabeth II, 96, known for her passion for horses, will receive one of French President Emmanuel Macron’s prized thoroughbreds as a gift for her 70th anniversary on the throne, the French leader’s office and the British Embassy said in Paris this Thursday (2).
The Fabuleu de Maucour, a seven-year-old horse, escorted Macron to the Champs Elysees in the French capital during an official ceremony last month. The queen has ridden horses for most of her life and has owned many racing animals over the years. Part of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations will feature members of the royal family in the audience at the Epsom Derby event on Saturday.
Britain kicked off four days of festivities on Thursday to celebrate Elizabeth’s 70th birthday on the throne, a reign longer than any of her predecessors. Earlier, Macron paid tribute to the queen, saying she has offered stability amid wars and profound changes in society.
“Throughout these transformations, your devotion to our alliance and our friendship has endured and helped build the trust that has brought freedom and prosperity to our continent,” the French president said in an English-language video message posted on his Twitter account. Macron also gave Xi Jinping a thoroughbred when he made a three-day state visit to China in 2018.
On this Thursday, tens of thousands of people filled the streets of London. Crowds gathered on the main thoroughfares leading to Buckingham Palace, cheering marching bands, waving flags and wearing paper crowns. Many slept on the streets to ensure a good position, and others settled in parks to have picnics while watching the parades on big screens.
Those hoping to see the queen, however, will have to be lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time. Due to advanced age and recent mobility problems reported by the Palace, the monarch’s direct participation will be limited compared to previous celebrations.