The queen and her American cowboy: ‘We had an extremely close relationship’

Written by on September 18, 2022

  • Legendary American horse coach Monty Roberts fashioned a bond with the queen.
  • Roberts and his spouse visited the queen within the U.Okay. at the least half a dozen occasions a yr.
  • The queen inspired Roberts to put in writing a ebook, “The Man Who Listens to Horses.”

LONDON – Monty Roberts, however not his royally authorized blue shirt, vibrant pink bandana scarf and beige cowboy hat, will likely be at Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral right here Monday.

The funeral will bring to a close 10 days of national mourning for Britain’s beloved monarch. The elaborate royal funeral rites will even successfully bookend an Elizabethan age that ran for 70 years and usher in a Carolean one – when a Charles reigns. 

Some observers could marvel why Roberts, an American horse coach who has a 100-acre ranch in Solvang, California, will likely be current at a ceremony that will likely be attended by an estimated 500 heads of state and dignitaries together with U.S. President Joe Biden; Commonwealth leaders corresponding to New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Sri Lanka President Ranil Wickremesinghe; members of royal households from throughout Europe, corresponding to Spain’s King Felipe and Queen Letizia; and, after all, the queen’s personal shut household – youngsters (King Charles III, not least), grandchildren and great-grandchildren, together with their companions and spouses.

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Duchess Camilla, wife of Prince Charles, and Queen Elizabeth II attend a horse-whispering demonstration by Monty Roberts at Buckingham Palace on Oct. 21, 2015, in London.

The explanations are clear to Roberts.

“I would not need to be the one to characterize our friendship. She had at the least 50% of it,” the 87-year-old coach says of the queen in an interview on the eve of her funeral at Westminster Abbey. “However if you happen to ask me, we had a particularly shut relationship.”  

In actual fact, for a monarch who rigorously stored her opinions to herself, the queen’s fondness for a horse coach revered for his light, affectionate strategies – Roberts is sometimes called “the actual Horse Whisperer” after the 1998 Robert Redford film and 1995 Nicholas Evans ebook of the identical title – was an open secret. 

The queen’s ardour for horses was rivaled solely by her love for corgis. When Ronald Reagan visited Windsor Castle in 1982, the queen and the president rode a pair of sleek-coated black stallions for an hour-long trek across the fortress’s non-public grounds.

She first heard about Roberts after studying about his coaching strategies. After dispatching certainly one of her horse trainers to California to look at his strategies, she invited him to Britain to attempt them out on the royal household’s horses.

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Horse trainer Monty Roberts in action on his ranch in California.

That was greater than 30 years in the past.

Over the past three many years, Roberts made a couple of half-dozen journeys every year to Britain to advise the queen about her horses. She additionally dispatched him to greater than 40 nations in Africa, Asia and South America to unfold his strategies. 

“She referred to as me on the cellphone immediately a couple of occasions,” says Roberts. “Although more often than not I referred to as her. That was the association. I referred to as about 200 occasions. Not one was rejected. As soon as I acquired fairly shut, although. She was in Northern Eire on the time. Whereas an aide was telling me she could not take the decision, I heard her within the background saying, ‘Is that Monty?’ Effectively, she instantly acquired on the road and stated her assembly had ended.”

Finally, Roberts says, the queen inspired him to put in writing a ebook about his horse-training strategies. Titled the “The Man Who Listens to Horses,” it turned a best-seller.

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He says he and his spouse Pat, who’s in London with him for Monday’s funeral, would typically keep at Buckingham Palace for “weeks at a time” and that the queen handled them like household. He recollects her corgis being a continuing presence.

Within the early days of their burgeoning friendship, he says he was requested by palace workers to take off his cowboy hat every time he met along with her, however she quickly determined to bestow royal approval on his standard apparel, together with his hat. 

“She instructed me: ‘I dub this your uniform, which suggests you do not have to take off your hat if you end up talking with me,’ ” Roberts says. “Most individuals I’ve requested about this say it is uncommon.”

“The Man Who Listens to Horses” dealt together with his life up till he met the queen – he has additionally labored with veterans that suffer from PTSD – and he now needs to put in writing a ebook about his life since assembly the queen. 

“I am 87. I’ll not get to see it printed. However there needs to be a ebook,” he says. 

For the funeral, Roberts will put on mourning garments, on the palace’s request.

“I did not even carry my Western hat,” he says. “It is a bit of troublesome to journey with.”

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