Queen Elizabeth spent "hours" planning for the future of her beloved racehorses "less than 48 hours" before her death.
The late monarch's bloodstock and racing adviser, John Warren, has revealed the queen was in "tremendous form" as they discussed what was next for her horses before she passed away peacefully at Balmoral on September 8 aged 96, and her death came as a huge shock to him.
John is quoted by ITV as saying: “We sat there for hours over the weekend strategising and making plans going forward.
“She was in such a healthy state of mind and in tremendous form."
He continued: “She really loved having them right there with her and being able to talk about her horses and her love for her horses right to the very end.
“I left her on Monday afternoon, the prime ministers were coming in on the Tuesday, she had a winner on the Tuesday.
“On the Tuesday evening, she was in really good form, delighted she had had a winner, and talked about the prime ministers coming in and out, and I can hardly believe it possible that within less than 48 hours the Queen had died.
“Perhaps the racing community contributed to giving her some pleasure along the way.”
King Charles has inherited around two dozen racehorses and about 80 brood mares from the royal stable.
The Queen’s family are said to have spent years joking the only people who could easily reach her on the phone were her racing managers.
The monarch was given her first pony aged four, a Shetland named Peggy, from her grandfather George V.
When she turned six, she was able to ride and control the horse.
She had 1,600 winners, including victories in four of the five British Classic races.
In an image to mark her 96th birthday in April, the queen was pictured with a huge smile holding the reins between two white fell ponies.
It's recently been claimed that the Queen Consort, Camilla will take over from the late monarch as the royal family’s horse racing figurehead.