The Queen has been pictured riding in the grounds of Windsor Castle – her first public appearance since the coronavirus lockdown began.

Windsor is said to be the Queen’s favourite royal residence and she has been photographed over the weekend riding one of her ponies, a 14-year-old Fell Pony called Balmoral Fern.

The 94-year-old regularly rides in the grounds of Windsor and has been a passionate horse lover and breeder of thoroughbred racehorses throughout her reign.

The Queen rides Balmoral Fern in Windsor Home Park over the weekend Credit: Steve Parsons/PA

Wearing a colourful headscarf and smartly dressed in a tweed jacket, jodhpurs, white gloves and boots, the head of state enjoyed the sunny weather that has been a contrast to the sombre mood of the lockdown.

The last public picture of the Queen was taken as she was driven away from Buckingham Palace to her Windsor Castle home on March 19.

US president Ronald Reagan riding in Windsor Home Park while staying as a guest of the Queen in 1982 Credit: PA

One of the Queen’s dorgis – she has two named Candy and Vulcan – could be seen next to her as they both looked out of the car window.

The Queen carried out official duties the day before her planned departure, but held her weekly audience with Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the phone rather than face to face as usual.

The Queen leaving Buckingham Palace for Windsor Castle to socially distance herself amid the coronavirus pandemic Credit: Aaron Chown/PA

The Queen has made two televised addresses to the nation during the lockdown, the first a speech to reassure the country that coronavirus would be overcome and those in isolation “will meet again”, and another on a similar theme to mark VE Day.

She has been joined by the Duke of Edinburgh at Windsor Castle and it is likely a small group of household staff have been isolating with her.