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Queen Elizabeth II vexed Germany with 'excessive' gift request while on royal tour

Daily Express logo Daily Express 29/03/2023 Lauren Welch
queen elizabeth © PA queen elizabeth

In 1978, Queen Elizabeth II expressed in a detailed wish list that she wanted two coach horses. The Queen detailed that she wanted one Holsteiner, which stood at around 17hh, with a coat that was "under no circumstances too dark" and another that was grey in complexion, but "not too dirty". These surprising details were published by Spiegel magazine show.

queen elizabeth ii © PA queen elizabeth ii

Walter Scheel, who was the German President at the time, agreed to give the Queen the two prize horses.

He said doing so would make the visit "as comfortable as possible for both sides".

But a German civil servant described the price as "excessive", while Germany's auditing office having "serious reservations".

In today's money, the cost of the horses would have been £52,800. This was the largest ever given to a foreign dignitary, by the Bonn republic.

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late queen elizabeth ii © getty late queen elizabeth ii

Queen Elizabeth's request was passed to officials by a German aristocrat.

They stated that one of the horses would be used to pull the Queen's carriage. The other would be used by Prince Philip, who turned to the sport of carriage driving in his fifties, to compete in events.

The late Queen was known for her love of horses and horse racing, often seen attending Epsom Derby.

But the gift wasn't the only request the Queen made for the visit, as in 1992, Spiegel published the record of the late Queen's plans which showed that she also tried to speak in front of the German parliament. This would have been a first for a monarch in the republic.

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late queen © getty late queen

But Helmut Kohl, who at the time worked as the German chancellor, personally blocked the scheduled plan.

After a German civil servant made him aware of the plans, the proposal was returned with "nein!" written on it in red ink.

On Wednesday, the King is scheduled to travel to Germany. He will become the first monarch to speak inside the German parliament.

In September 2022, broadcaster Clare Balding spoke about the Queen's love of horses.

queen philip and andrew at epsom derby © GETTY queen philip and andrew at epsom derby prince philip and queen © getty prince philip and queen

During the late monarch's final journey, she said: "The Queen's passions were horses and dogs. "Racing was the passion she shared with the public.

"The Queen loved to go to the stables to see horses on gallops in the morning and talk to all the grooms."

Clare went on to discuss the reason for the Queen's passion.

The presenter said: "She liked the attention to be on others and that was the case at the races."


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