The Queen has been forced to give up riding, her favourite pastime, because of chronic knee pain. The condition has also meant that she has had to have a £1million lift installed at her Sandringham home.
Knee pain is a terrible burden for horses. Because the Queen will only ride one horse, an ex-army horse called Trumper, when it is suffering with knee pain she can't go out. However, the £1million lift does make things easier because now Trumper can get from his winter stable on top of the garage block down to the ground where he is groomed and fed.
Trumper has had a good life in the Queen's service, and he has regularly been part of the team that pulls the royal coach for state visits.
Indeed, it was during a visit to the UK by President George W Bush that he and the Queen were riding down the Mall in the royal coach. Suddenly, Trumper or one of the other horses broke wind noisily and the coach filled with eye-watering fumes. After a few moments the Queen decided to break the embarrassed silence by saying "Mr President, I am so sorry. I am sure you will appreciate there are some things that even the Queen cannot control."
President Bush replied, "Please do not concern yourself, your Majesty. If you hadn't have said anything I would have thought it was the horse."