The special way Lady Louise Windsor honoured her grandfather

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·Royal Correspondent
·5-min read
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Watch: Lady Louise Windsor to inherit Prince Philip's carriage and horses

She may have been Prince Philip's youngest granddaughter, and more than 80 years younger than him.

But Lady Louise Windsor had a special bond with the Duke of Edinburgh and honoured him in a unique way over the weekend.

Lady Louise, 17, shared his passion for the equestrian sport of carriage driving, which he took up in his 50's after being forced to give up polo.

The relatively high-octane sport often saw him tipped out of the carriage as he sent the horses whipping around courses at speed - but he remained undaunted, as is granddaughter Louise.

On Sunday, she was spotted taking part in a race at the Royal Windsor Horse Show, which takes place in Home Park, Windsor Castle.

Louise beamed happily during The Champagne Laurent-Perrier Meet of The British Driving Society, in which she is believed to have driven the late Prince Philip's carriage.

WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 04: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Lady Louise Windsor takes part in 'The Champagne Laurent-Perrier Meet of The British Driving Society' on day 4 of the Royal Windsor Horse Show in Home Park, Windsor Castle on July 4, 2021 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
Lady Louise Windsor takes part in 'The Champagne Laurent-Perrier Meet of The British Driving Society' on day 4 of the Royal Windsor Horse Show in Windsor. (Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
Lady Louise Windsor participates in the Champagne Laurent-Perrier Meet of the British Driving Society at the Royal Windsor Horse Show, Windsor. Picture date: Sunday July 4, 2021. (Photo by Steve Parsons/PA Images via Getty Images)
Lady Louise Windsor grinned broadly as she drove what is believed to be the late Prince Philip's carriage, on Sunday. (Steve Parsons/PA Images via Getty Images)

Buckingham Palace has never confirmed that she inherited the carriage, but as she is the only grandchild to have adopted the sport, it would be fitting for the late duke to have left it to her.

Made of aluminium and steel, the carriage was built to the duke’s specifications eight years ago, drawing on his knowledge of Federation Equestre Internationale driving.

The carriage was part of the funeral procession for the duke in April 2021, through the grounds of Windsor Castle.

Included on that day were his gloves and hat, and a box in which sugar cubes were kept for the horses.

Louise wore her green hat, a green tweed jacket and a white shirt, a similar outfit to her 2018 appearance at the event.

It was her first appearance at the show without her grandfather's support.

The Earl of Wessex and his son, James, Viscount Severn, watch Lady Louise Windsor participate in the Champagne Laurent-Perrier Meet of the British Driving Society at the Royal Windsor Horse Show, Windsor. Picture date: Sunday July 4, 2021. (Photo by Steve Parsons/PA Images via Getty Images)
The Earl of Wessex and his son, James, Viscount Severn, watch Lady Louise Windsor participate in the Champagne Laurent-Perrier Meet of the British Driving Society. (Steve Parsons/PA Images via Getty Images)
WINDSOR, ENGLAND - JULY 4: Lady Louise Windsor and Sophie, Countess of Wessex take part in 'The Champagne Laurent-Perrier Meet of the British Driving Society during the Royal Windsor Horse Show 2021 at Windsor Castle on July 4, 2021 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)
Lady Louise Windsor and Sophie, Countess of Wessex take part in 'The Champagne Laurent-Perrier Meet of the British Driving Society during the Royal Windsor Horse Show 2021. (Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)

Speaking in June, Sophie explained that Philip was always supportive of Louise.

She said: "He was so pleased when she took it up because I took it up... I was OK, and I was at the beginning of my carriage driving career when I fell pregnant with Louise, and so I had to hang up the reins.

"So I was delighted when she decided she wanted to have a go.

"My father-in-law was always so good at encouraging her, he was so encouraging of Louise, not only when she said 'please can I have a go' but then when she showed a flair for it.

"He was brilliant with her, they used to chat away about it. He would always turn up if she was competing in the Great Park, and on her training days."

Not only did Louise use her grandfather's carriage, watched by her mother Sophie, the Countess of Wessex and father Prince Edward, as well as her younger brother James, but she was also spotted in one of Philip's jackets.

Strolling around the grounds of the show on Saturday, Louise was wearing a navy blazer, which was reported to be one of the late duke's.

She wore it over a green shirt and carried a beige bag, holding onto her floral face covering. She had her hair back in a ponytail.

Louise spent the day at the show with her family, with Sophie looking casual in a tweed jacket, white shirt and jeans.

WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 03: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Lady Louise Windsor and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex attend day 3 of the Royal Windsor Horse Show in Home Park, Windsor Castle on July 3, 2021 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
Lady Louise Windsor and her father Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex at day 3 of the Royal Windsor Horse Show in Home Park, on Saturday. (Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

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Sophie also wore brown boots and a navy hat with feather feature.

The Wessexes have carried out full time royal duties for several years but they have been more prominent in royal life since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle 'stepped back' in March 2020.

They live in Bagshot Park and are close to the Queen. Sophie is said to spend time with Her Majesty watching films, while Louise was particular close to the duke.

The Queen, 95, attended all four official days of the Royal Windsor Horse Show, driving herself from her home at Windsor Castle around the event ground at Home Park.

She is known to love the event, and was dressed casually throughout, smiling as she was surrounded by friends.

WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 03: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Lady Louise Windsor and Sophie, Countess of Wessex attend day 3 of the Royal Windsor Horse Show in Home Park, Windsor Castle on July 3, 2021 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
Lady Louise Windsor wore one of Prince Philip's jackets at the show with mother Sophie, Countess of Wessex at day 3 of the Royal Windsor Horse Show. (Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 03: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Sophie, Countess of Wessex, Lady Louise Windsor and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex attend day 3 of the Royal Windsor Horse Show in Home Park, Windsor Castle on July 3, 2021 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
The family are close to the Queen because they live nearby to Windsor Castle. (Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

Lady Louise is unlikely ever to carry out senior royal duties, despite her parents' work, but her mother said she is supportive of whatever she decides to do.

Sophie said of her daughter in an interview in June: "I hope she will go on with her studies, which I think she probably will want to do.

"I have to let her live her life, it's not mine to live, I can only equip her the best I can and then she has to make her own choices.

"I hope for the next few years she can be as private as she wants to be."

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