When Jeremy was invited by Her Majesty Queen to document the life of Windsor Castle in 2014, he faced the exciting challenge of deciding where to place his focus. Every residency offers up a range of potential features to focus on; but Windsor Castle, with its thousand-year history and hundreds of staff members, provides a particularly vast canvas. How to capture the complexity of modern life at the Queen’s official residence, while reflecting the centuries of tradition that still keep the castle ticking?
After spending a week immersing himself in life at the castle, Jeremy found his subject: the Royal Mews, the working stables, which Jeremy describes as “the heartbeat of the castle”. It’s as much a hub of activity in the 21st-century as it was during the reign of the first Queen Elizabeth, five hundred years ago. Focusing on the Mews also pays tribute to the Queen’s passion for, and expert knowledge of, all things equestrian: breeding, training, and racing horses.
Jeremy painted and sketched horses, including the Queen’s Fell ponies, in their varied roles at the castle: from the ceremonial pomp of the King’s Troop at the Royal Windsor Horse Show, to providing athletic spectacle at Guards Polo Club and Royal Ascot racing, as well as the more quotidian aspects of caring for these beautiful beasts.
Jeremy was delighted to present the paintings to the Queen in person. Her Majesty immediately recognised the horses portrayed in the scenes, including ones that she had bred – as well as those descended from Queen Victoria’s thoroughbreds.