Queen, 95, drives herself to favourite event of the year ahead of meeting Angela Merkel

Queen Elizabeth II drives a Range Rover at the Royal Windsor Horse Show, Windsor. Picture date: Friday July 2, 2021. (Photo by Steve Parsons/PA Images via Getty Images)
The Queen driving a Range Rover at the Royal Windsor Horse Show on Friday, 2 July. (PA Images)

The Queen has proved her age is no barrier to carrying on with her hobbies as she drove herself to one of her favourite events of the year.

The 95-year-old monarch was spotted behind the wheel of a Range Rover on the way to the Royal Windsor Horse Show on Friday, having rushed back from Scotland on Thursday to make day one.

The annual event is one of the Queen's favourites, and she is regularly seen there in a more casual outfit, grinning broadly.

Her granddaughter Lady Louise Windsor has competed there in the past, in the carriage driving events, a sport she became passionate about thanks to the Duke of Edinburgh.

On Thursday Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, Lady Louise's mother was spotted at the show.

WINDSOR, ENGLAND - JULY 2: Queen Elizabeth II visits the Royal Windsor Horse Show 2021 at Windsor Castle on July 2, 2021 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)
The Queen drove her Range Rover on Friday morning. (Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)
Queen Elizabeth II drives a Range Rover at the Royal Windsor Horse Show, Windsor. Picture date: Friday July 2, 2021. (Photo by Steve Parsons/PA Images via Getty Images)
The Queen still enjoys driving herself to her favourite event of the year. (PA)

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The Queen's appearances there come after a four-day tour of Scotland for Royal Week.

She took on engagements across the country with her grandson Prince William and her daughter Princess Anne.

Her son and daughter-in-law Prince Edward and Sophie were also in the country during the same week but carried out separate engagements.

Royal Week is a traditional part of the Queen's calendar but she was unable to make the trip last year because of coronavirus restrictions.

After arriving back in Windsor on Thursday she went straight to day one of the show, accompanied by Countess Mountbatten of Burma.

The countess was the only non-family member present at the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral in April, which was limited to 30 mourners.

She was a close friend of the late Prince Philip, and they were often seen together at the Windsor show.

The Queen looked in good spirits on both Thursday and Friday despite a packed diary.

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Queen Elizabeth II at the Royal Windsor Horse Show, Windsor. Picture date: Friday July 2, 2021. (Photo by Steve Parsons/PA Images via Getty Images)
The Queen wore amore casual outfit on day two of the annual show. (PA)
WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 01: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Queen Elizabeth II seen getting into her Range Rover car as she attends day 1 of the Royal Windsor Horse Show in Home Park, Windsor Castle on July 1, 2021 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
The Queen getting into her Range Rover car after day 1 of the Royal Windsor Horse Show in Home Park, Windsor Castle on Thursday. (Getty)

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She has been limited because of COVID-19 restrictions but has relished getting out and about again instead of being forced to appear at online events.

However, she will not be able to stay at the show all day on Friday as she has an appointment to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the afternoon.

Merkel is carrying out some final visits and meetings before stepping down from her role.

The two women have met several times over the years, and were both at the G7 summit in Cornwall in June.

Her Majesty has kept driving whenever possible, though she does not drive herself to her engagements.

In 2003 she drove Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia around Balmoral during his state visit to the UK. At the time, women did not have the right to drive in Saudi Arabia.

WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 01: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Sophie, Countess of Wessex attends day 1 of the Royal Windsor Horse Show in Home Park, Windsor Castle on July 1, 2021 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
Sophie, Countess of Wessex was spotted on day 1 of the Royal Windsor Horse Show in Home Park. (Getty)
WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 01: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Queen Elizabeth II, accompanied by Penelope Knatchbull, Countess Mountbatten of Burma, Rupert Ponsonby, Lord de Mauley (Master of the Horse to Queen Elizabeth II) and Lucinda Ponsonby, Lady de Mauley, attends day 1 of the Royal Windsor Horse Show in Home Park, Windsor Castle on July 1, 2021 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
The Queen was accompanied by Penelope Knatchbull, Countess Mountbatten of Burma, Rupert Ponsonby, Lord de Mauley (Master of the Horse to Queen Elizabeth II) and Lucinda Ponsonby, Lady de Mauley, on day one. (Getty)

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British diplomat Sir Sherard Cowper Coles recalled in his memoir: "After lunch, the Queen had asked her royal guest whether he would like a tour of the estate.

"Prompted by his Foreign Minister, the urbane Prince Saud, an initially hesitant Abdullah agreed.

"The royal Land Rovers were drawn up in front of the castle. As instructed, the Crown Prince climbed into the front seat of the front Land Rover, with his interpreter in the seat behind.

"To his surprise, the Queen climbed into the driving seat, turned the ignition and drove off.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II receives German Chancellor Angela Merkel during an audience at Windsor Castle in Windsor, Berkshire on July 2, 2021. - German leader Angela Merkel will have a new a science prize established in her honour during a farewell visit to Britain on Friday, which will also include a meeting with Queen Elizabeth II. (Photo by Steve Parsons / POOL / AFP) (Photo by STEVE PARSONS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
The Queen later received German Chancellor Angela Merkel during an audience at Windsor Castle on Friday. (Steve Parsons/AFP)
WINDSOR, ENGLAND - JULY 2: Queen Elizabeth II receives the Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, during an audience at Windsor Castle on July 2, 2021 in Windsor, England. Angela Merkel is in her final few months as German Chancellor announcing in 2018 that she would not seek a fifth term in September's elections.  (Photo by Steve Parsons- WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Angela Merkel is in her final few months as German Chancellor announcing in 2018 that she would not seek a fifth term in September's elections. (Steve Parsons- WPA Pool/Getty Images)

"Abdullah was not used to being driven by a woman, let alone a queen.

"His nervousness only increased as the Queen, an Army driver in wartime, accelerated the Land Rover along the narrow Scottish estate roads, talking all the time.

"Through his interpreter, the Crown Prince implored the Queen to slow down and concentrate on the road ahead."

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