Queen Elizabeth Spotted on Horse Ride After Announcing She'll Remain at Windsor for Christmas
Horseback riding is one way the Queen has stayed busy while self-isolating throughout the COVID-19 pandemic
Queen Elizabeth is back in the saddle.
The monarch, 94, headed out for a horse ride at Windsor Castle on Tuesday alongside her head groom, Terry Pendry. The Queen — whose love of horses goes back to her childhood, when she was given her first horse (a Shetland pony) when she was just 4 — was spotted bundled up with a tan jacket with the hood up.
Horseback riding is one of the ways the Queen has stayed busy while self-isolating with husband Prince Philip, 99, throughout the coronavirus pandemic. In May, the royal family shared new photos of the monarch riding a pony named Fern around Windsor Home Park.
The Queen's love of horseback riding has also been passed on to the next generations of royals as well. Her daughter, Princess Anne, became the first royal to compete in the Olympics when she rode in the equestrian three-day event at the 1976 Games in Montreal. Following in her footsteps, Anne’s daughter, Zara Tindall, competed in the 2012 Olympics and won a silver medal as a member of the Great Britain Eventing Team.
It was announced Tuesday that Queen Elizabeth has called off her regular trip to Sandringham for Christmas. Instead, she and Prince Philip will stay at Windsor Castle, where they have spent much of their time in quarantine since March.
"Having considered all the appropriate advice, The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh have decided that this year they will spend Christmas quietly in Windsor," a Buckingham Palace spokesperson said.
A royal source tells PEOPLE, "They are fortunate to spend Christmas with their family every year, but they understand that their family will have competing demands over the Christmas period and are content to have a quiet festive season this year."
"Like everyone, their hope is that normality will return in 2021," the source adds. The Queen and Philip may still see some members of their family, "but they understand that they have competing demands."
Under new COVID-19 guidelines in the U.K., households can create a “bubble” of two other family groups over five days of looser restrictions lasting from Dec. 23 to Dec. 27.
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The Queen traditionally spends the holiday season at her Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, where the rest of the royal family typically gathers for festive celebrations, including their annual walk to church on Christmas morning.
"Christmas is something the Queen has always done with enormous, genuine family style, and is facing not doing so sadly," royal biographer Robert Lacey, author of Battle of Brothers, recently told PEOPLE. But "she is accepting of that."