Some cheery news for next spring for those who enjoy equestrian, military and musical displays. A Gallop Through History, to be staged on the Queen’s doorstep in the private grounds of Windsor Castle from 12 to 15 May, will kick off the Platinum Jubilee celebrations in style. Two years in the planning, the pageant will feature Her Majesty’s horses and ponies and more than 1,000 performers.
Producer and director Simon Brooks-Ward describes the spectacular as a ‘warm up’ for the central Platinum Jubilee weekend in early June. The arena show will have a theatrical feel, depicting history from the time of Queen Elizabeth I to the 70-year reign of Queen Elizabeth II. Commonwealth and European countries will be involved and as it is the 75th anniversary of Indian independence, there will be a Bollywood presence. Much of the funding is already in place and any profit earned through ticket sales and sponsorship will go to charities relevant to the Queen.
Her granddaughter Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor will celebrate her 18th birthday on 8 November; a week later the Prince of Wales will be 73 on the 14th. It is likely that Lady Louise will take part in the Platinum Jubilee celebration at Windsor as she is now an accomplished carriage-driver thanks to the expert tuition of the Queen’s head coachman, Matthew Powers. She was also encouraged by her late grandfather, the Duke of Edinburgh, who gifted her the fell ponies and carriage he once used.
More happy news in the tiny form of Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi’s baby girl, born at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital on 18 September at 11.42pm. Bea and Edo later announced the names – Sienna Elizabeth Mapelli Mozzi – on Instagram using a paper and ink imprint of her tiny feet. Sienna is the Queen’s 12th great-grandchild and a first granddaughter for the Duke of York and his former wife, Sarah.
Last month a thought-provoking series, The Earthshot Prize: Repairing Our Planet, was rolled out globally. Launched by Prince William and The Royal Foundation in October 2020, the Earthshot Prize was inspired by President John F. Kennedy’s ‘Moonshot’ programme in the 1960s, which united millions of people around the goal of reaching the moon. It aims to ‘incentivise change and inspire collective action around our unique ability to innovate, problem solve and ultimately repair our planet over the next ten years’.
‘This is a moment for hope, not fear,’ says Prince William. ‘A better sustainable future is within reach, we just have to grasp for it.
‘We humans can achieve anything we set our minds to. So let’s all set our minds to this, a decade of action to repair our planet. There’s no time to waste.’
The Duke of Cambridge is passionate about the project. His father has been talking about saving the planet for most of his adult life and his grandfather, Prince Philip, began voicing his own concerns more than 60 years ago.
The combination of William and Sir David Attenborough, as well as other experts in the field, in the five-part series is a powerful one. Hopefully we will all finally start listening to them.