Horses have always been a favourite hobby of the royal. The love of equestrian pursuits and horses is led by the Queen, who can still be spotted out riding at the age of 91 in the grounds of Windsor Castle.

Her daughter, Princess Anne, inherited her mother’s love of horses and went on to ride competitively. Did you know that the Princess Royal was the first member of the Royal Family ever to compete in the Olympic Games? She rode The Queen’s horse, Goodwill, in the equestrian three-day event at the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games.

Proving that a love of horses and riding is very much part of the royal way of life, Princess Anne’s daughter Zara Tindall is also a talented rider. Zara became the first royal to win an Olympic medal when she won silver in an equestrian event at London 2012!

Prince William and Harry have also spent a fair amount of time in the saddle. Learning to ride as boys, they are both keen Polo players and have been known to win a match or two. Prince Harry is also rumoured to have asked his grandmother for some equine advice, relating to a new charity project he’s working on. [More about that HERE]

READ MORE: Why has Prince Harry enlisted the help of his grandmother’s ‘horse whisperer?’

The royal family are also regular racegoers. As well as attending Royal Ascot, the Queen enjoys horse racing throughout the year with various members of her family.

The Queen loves to win, and luckily her horses have won races at Royal Ascot on a number of occasions!

However, despite marrying into a royally equestrian loving family, you won’t ever catch the Duchess of Cambridge riding! Why? Well the reason she’s not comfortable in the saddle is actually very simple… She never learnt to ride!

According to Marcia Moody – the author of Kate: A Biography – the Duchess doesn’t ride, ‘purely because she didn’t do it growing up’.

Despite being a self-confessed lover of the outdoors and the countryside, horses and the pursuit of riding has never interested Kate.

READ MORE: Why the countryside photoshoot for Vogue was all Kate’s idea…

However, despite the fact that Kate isn’t a keen rider herself, she’s still keen to encourage her children Prince George and Princess Charlotte to give the much loved royal sport a go. When the Duchess of Cambridge attended a reception with Team GB medalists at the Palace, Kate revealed that Princess Charlotte already loves horses.

duchess-of-cambridge-buckingham-palace

However, we did already have a clue about this. Who spotted the small toy Charlotte was holding whilst sitting on the Queen’s lap in her official birthday portrait?

Princess Charlotte and the Queen royal portrait

Super sweet! It seems little Princess Charlotte is just like her great grandmother in developing a love of horses from a young age! Kate confessed that Charlotte has this passion about horses and although she doesn’t echo it, she’ll do her best to champion and encourage it as the little royal grows up. Perhaps she’ll take after Princess Anne and Zara Tindall and become the next member of the royal family to compete in the Olympics?! Watch this space!