The Queen makes surprise outing at the Royal Windsor Horse Show

Royal Windsor Horse Show is one of the Queen's favourite events

The Queen has arrived at the Royal Windsor Horse Show to watch her animals take to the parade ring. Pictured in her Range Rover, the monarch, 96, appeared upbeat and smiled as she made a surprise appearance on Friday.

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The event, which started on Thursday and will run until Sunday, is said to be the Queen's favourite event of the year.

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WATCH: The Queen makes surprise outing at the Royal Windsor Horse Show

She sat in the front passenger seat of the vehicle, casually dressed in a white blouse and a blue cardigan-style top and wearing sunglasses. As the Range Rover pulled up near the parade ring, the Queen spoke to a small group, thought to be officials from the show, through the open car window.

The Queen appeared relaxed, smiling and laughing as she chatted, while just a few feet away dozens of photographers tried to capture the moment.

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The crowds cheered and gave a round of applause as the royal slowly made her way to her seat with a walking stick. She had arrived to watch the Highland Class 64 event and her horse Balmoral Leia, a five-year-old grey dun mare, was named winner and was later announced as a supreme champion.

Her appearance comes days after Her Majesty missed the State Opening for the first time in 59 years. The last time she was unable to attend was in 1963 when she was pregnant with her youngest child, Prince Edward.

The Queen pictured in Windsor on Friday

Her eldest son Prince Charles read out her speech for the first time, and was accompanied by the Duke of Cambridge and the Duchess of Cornwall.

The news of the Queen's cancellation was confirmed on Monday, with a Buckingham Palace spokesperson stating: "The Queen continues to experience episodic mobility problems, and in consultation with her doctors has reluctantly decided that she will not attend the State Opening of Parliament.

"At Her Majesty's request, and with the agreement of the relevant authorities, The Prince of Wales will read The Queen's speech on Her Majesty's behalf, with The Duke of Cambridge also in attendance."

The Queen appeared happy and relaxed

Leading up to the Platinum Jubilee, the Queen has scaled back public engagements. Last week, it was announced that Her Majesty would not be making an appearance at the traditional palace garden parties this spring.

Buckingham Palace announced the Queen will be represented by other members of the royal family, with exact names to be confirmed in due course.

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