Monty Roberts, the famous horse whisperer, has spoken of his friendship with the Queen saying without her support he would still be a cowboy in California.
The 80-year-old who is famed for his taming of wild horses said he regularly meets the monarch to discuss all things equine.
His comments came after he had staged a demonstration of his skills for supporters of the animal welfare charity the Brooke.
The Queen made a surprise visit to the performance - staged at Buckingham Palace’s Royal Mews - held in support of the Brooke, which campaigns for the better treatment of equine animals.
The Duchess of Cornwall is patron of the charity and hosted the event, and in the front row was Roberts’s most famous supporter - the Queen.
He has become a worldwide star thanks to his innovative techniques with horses and has been staying at the Queen’s private Sandringham home working with her animals. This year he became a global ambassador for the Brooke and, speaking about the effect the Queen has had on his life, said: “If she hadn’t pushed me, I’d be a cowboy in California doing parochial stuff.”
He went on to talk about when he first met the monarch: “She sent a man over to California - I thought it was a joke - they brought me to Windsor Castle in April of 1989.
“Her Majesty had 23 horses ready for me to work with and it was one week with Her Majesty there every day, when it was only supposed to be one hour.
“She said there had to be a book and she sent me to 21 cities in 30 days because she wanted this message out there.
“Every year, two, three, four times a year that we get together, we discuss what’s happened, we discuss what we want to do.”
During his impressive display of horse taming he took around 15 minutes to get the animal to wear a saddle for the first time, then around five minutes later one of his team was sitting on the filly called Jess, and took a few steps with her.
At one point the horse reared up and began to snort and he joked about the situation, saying he thought working at Buckingham Palace he would “get an easy one”.
Camilla laughed at the comment and turned to the Queen who was engrossed in his performance.
At the end of the show the guests were invited to a reception to meet the star of the entertainment.