Queen celebrates the horse’s victory at the Ascot Gold Cup in 2013

Queen Elizabeth’s friend and racing adviser John Warren said he could ‘hardly believe’ she died, revealed she was in ‘tremendous shape’ just days before her death and spoke of “his love for his horses until the very end”. Footage of Mr Warren sitting next to Her Majesty as she cheers and beams after her horse, Estimate, won the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot in 2013 was widely shared last week. was won by a reigning monarch.

Mr Warren said he had spent the weekend before the Queen died in Scotland, discussing her horses, as they had done so many times before.

He explained: “We sat for hours over the weekend strategizing and making plans for the future.

“And I think the most enjoyable thing for me is knowing that she was surrounded by her family members.

“She was in such a healthy state of mind and in terrific shape.

“It’s very important to know that she was absolutely, wonderfully turned on.”

Mr Warren said the Queen had seen a lot of King Charles III and Camilla, Queen Consort, who were also in Scotland, and she enjoyed having different family groups staying at Balmoral.

Queen Elizabeth and John Warren celebrate in 2013 (Image: Reuters)

He said: “She absolutely loved having them around and being able to talk about her horses and her love for her horses until the very end.”

Referring to Boris Johnson and his successor Ms Truss, he added: “I left her on Monday afternoon, the Prime Ministers were arriving on Tuesday, she had a winner on Tuesday.

“On Tuesday night she was in great shape, delighted to have had a winner, and talked about the prime ministers coming in and out, and I can hardly believe it’s possible that in less than 48 hours, the queen is dead.”

He said: “As shocking as it was, it’s wonderful to know that she led a long, full and dedicated life to the end.

“Maybe the racing community helped give him some fun along the way.”

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Queen Elizabeth John Warren

Queen Elizabeth and John Warren smile after their victory (Image: Reuters)

Mr Warren recalled that day at Ascot in 2013, saying his display of emotion was the culmination of a seven-year journey with Estimate, since before he was born.

He said: “The pictures you can see don’t actually show you the last two stages.

“It was a very uphill battle. It seemed right forever and ever before it happened. Was it going to happen? Was it not going to happen?

“And, as the filly passed the post, the Queen’s elation was absolutely wonderful. She had a really huge tear in her eye, in both eyes.

“I could see she was overflowing with emotion, which was a wonderful thing.”

Mr Warren said: “I think that was all she put into horse and racehorse breeding – achieving an ambition that is no different than any parent wanting for her child to win at the Olympics. It felt the same exhilaration as that.”

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Queen Elizabeth John Warren

Queen Elizabeth and John Warren at Ascot in 2018 (Image: Reuters)

Mr Warren recalled how the Queen ‘virtually galloped’ from the royal box to the precinct without a saddle, despite being over 80, ‘carried’ by the Ascot crowd.

He said: “And in typical horsewoman style, although everyone was congratulating the Queen, the Queen was absolutely determined to get to Estimate herself and give her a wonderful and well-deserved pat.

“It was an extremely touching thing to see, with the queen only focusing on this creature who had delivered for her. It was remarkable.”

Mr Warren said Estimation’s victory was one of the real highlights of the Queen’s long association with horse racing, with her victory with Highclere in the Prix de Diane at Chantilly in 1974.

He said: “The Queen was certainly excited and emotionally charged to have other winners – especially at Ascot, where all eyes are on – but I think this one was so satisfying because it’s such an iconic race.”

But he said his interest in racing was as much about planning a horse’s journey over the years as winning with legendary mounts.

queen elizabeth

Queen Elizabeth welcomes Liz Truss to Balmoral two days before her death (Image: GETTY)

“What I found quite remarkable about the queen was her ability to derive so much pleasure from any horse, no matter what level that horse may have reached,” he said. declared.

“If we had done our best, if we could get the equivalent of a D student a C grade with the best effort, that in itself was great.”

He said: “The horse had the last laugh and that’s what fascinated the Queen.”

Mr Warren said she knows everyone in the racing industry, not just the trainers, owners, stable staff and jockeys, but also their families.

He said: “We are all such fanatics and the queen was in the club.”

“With a wonderful foal being born one morning, she would have news of it and it would allow her to have a little spring in her step among all the things she had to do.”

The Queen made Mr Warren a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (RVO) earlier this year, awarded to people who have served the monarch in a personal way.

He is married to Lady Carolyn Warren, daughter of the Queen’s former racing adviser, the 7th Earl of Carnarvon.

Together the couple own and manage Highclere Stud near Newbury, Berkshire. Lady Carolyn’s brother is the current Lord Carnarvon, whose ancestral home is Highclere Castle, the setting of Downton Abbey.

Mr. Warren has been a Queen’s Counsel for over 13 years.

He said the Queen had been a regular visitor to his home for 60 years, which she used as a base to visit her horses.

He said: “I was lucky and incredibly lucky to be a part of being so close to her thanks to our shared fascination.”


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