A spectacular equestrian display showcasing horses from across the globe will be staged next year to mark the anniversary of the Queen’s 70-year reign, organisers have announced.
The Platinum Jubilee Celebration, dubbed A Gallop Through History, has been billed as a “personal tribute to our monarchy” and will feature more than 500 horses and over a thousand performers taking the audience on a journey from Elizabeth I to the Queen.
The monarch has a life-long love of all things equestrian and is being kept informed by organisers of their plans, and her ponies and horses are expected to feature in the event, with royal fans hoping to see members of the royal family taking part.
Dame Helen Mirren and comic actor Stephen Fry have been involved in publicising the event, which will be staged from May 12-15 to more than 5,000 spectators a night in the grounds of Windsor Castle, and are in discussions with organisers about taking part in the final show.
Sir Mike Rake, chairman of the Platinum Jubilee Celebration, said at the launch event, staged at the Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace: “After 70 years on the throne and particularly poignantly after the dark and troubling times in the last 18 months, Her Majesty’s leadership, steadiness and unwavering devotion during her reign deserve recognition and celebration.”
He added: “In 2022 Her Majesty the Queen will have guided the nation through several decades of change, growth and advancement, like none before them, in times of triumph and also in times of trouble.
“In an age of advancement and adversary, the Queen has remained a constant, committed and courageous presence, therefore we have worthwhile and timely celebration.”
The show will also feature international military displays from the Commonwealth and Europe, alongside the UK’s Armed Forces and global equestrian performers.
Countries represented include Oman, India, nations from the Caribbean, Canada, France and Norway.
Leading the story will be the Queen’s Players, a group of performers featuring some of the UK’s greatest entertainers who will be based on the travelling players of the Elizabethan period.
In 2016, the Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebration staged at Windsor raised £1.2 million for military, Commonwealth and equestrian charities patronised by the monarch, and it is hoped the arena-based theatrical show will surpass this figure next year.
Stephen Fry recorded a video message in support of the musical, military and equestrian event saying: “This live spectacle in May will be full of laughter and joy, and also a deep sense of reverence and gratitude.”
The cost for the show has not been disclosed but organisers have said they have a “healthy budget” with financial support from private donations and commercial support from a number of organisations.
Simon Brooks-Ward, producer and director of the Celebration, stressed the event would have a fun element to act as a counterpoint to the pandemic the nation has been experiencing.
He said: “Without giving too much away at this early stage, we have secured some of the best equestrian, military and musical displays from here and around the world to feature in this huge production.
“We are also very excited by The Queen’s Players and have had indications of commitment from some great names, that we will release in the near future.”
Tickets go on sale on Wednesday for the 90-minute arena-based extravaganza which will be broadcast on ITV in a programme lasting two hours.