What will happen to Queen Elizabeth's horses now?

Britain's longest-reigning monarch had a lifelong love of her steeds

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Queen Elizabeth II's love of dogs and horses is well documented, and many have been wondering what will happen to her animals now that she's gone.

Britain's longest-reigning monarch died on Thursday, aged 96, with her family at her side at Balmoral Castle.

Her death signalled the start of a huge shift for the British royal family, with King Charles III officially succeeding his mother after the Accession Council formalised his role on Saturday. Prince William also becomes heir apparent.

Scroll through the gallery below to see King Charles III confirmed in the accession ceremony in London

There will also be big changes in the stables at each of the queen's royal residences, where her more than 100 horses reside. This includes two she was recently given during the platinum jubilee by France President Emmanuel Macron and Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev.

The queen gained an interest in horse breeding and racing stock from her father, King George VI.

Her first riding lesson was reportedly taken at age 3 at the private riding school in Buckingham Palace Mews.

She was 4 when her grandfather, King George V, gave her a Shetland pony called Peggy, and went on to own dozens of horses over the years, now with an estimated stable of more than 100.

She was a keen rider, owner and breeder, and a regular at British horse racing events including Royal Ascot, the Epsom Derby and the Grand National.

In 2013, she became the first reigning British monarch to win the Royal Ascot Gold Cup with her horse Estimate. Overall, she is said to have earned about $9 million in prize money through her steeds over the decades.

Royal biographer Claudia Joseph said the horses are expected to stay within the family. "It is likely that the queen’s daughter, Princess Anne, and her daughter, Zara [Tindall], who were both Olympic equestrians and well-known horse lovers, are likely to be involved in what happens next to the queen’s animals," Joseph told the New York Post.

During her life, the queen has also had more than 30 dogs — many of them corgis.

Buckingham Palace is yet to confirm what will happen to her two corgis, corgi-dachshund cross (known as a dorgi) and cocker spaniel — named Candy, Lissy, Muick and Sandy — but it’s safe to expect they will be rehomed within the extended family or by royal household staff.

Updated: September 11, 2022, 8:42 AM
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