The Queen’s cows are so pampered they sleep on waterbeds

Like most people, the Queen probably prefers animals to members of her own family at times.

However the devotion shown to her four-legged friends has scaled new heights after it emerged that her cows sleep on waterbeds.

The dairy herd at Windsor Castle are said to have their aches and pains massaged away by the waterbeds.

When they are ready to be milked and brushed, they are then led into robot-like machines for state-of-the art care.

The insights have emerged in a three-part Countryfile special to mark the 30th anniversary of the show.

The programme was granted unprecedented access to the grounds and animals at three of her residences – Windsor, Balmoral and Sandringham.

Her staff say they believe if she wasn’t the Queen she would make ‘a great farmer’s wife’ because of her knowledge of all kinds of animals.

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The monarch is well-known for her love of Corgis and horses but it has also emerged that she is a champion pigeon racer and keen bird watcher.

At Balmoral, where she spends every summer, she is called every time a new foal is born. She is also the owner of the biggest herd of Sussex cows in the world at her Windsor estate.

Her head groom at the castle, where grandson Prince Harry married Megan Markle at the weekend, said: ‘I often wonder that if she hadn’t been Queen she would have been a great farmer’s wife.’

Terry Pendry continued:‘She adores the countryside and there’s not much she doesn’t know about it.’

At Sandringham, she has created ten wetlands for migrating birds but in Windsor it is a different kind of liquid that holds her attention.

The Queen has opened a vineyard for the first time in nearly nine centuries and is producing sparkling wine.

The approach of the royal family is said to be a mixture of tradition and modern, as evident by the waterbeds.

The show reveals how the Queen almost single-handedly saved the Cleveland Bay packhorse, with its distinctive black legs and tail, which was heading towards extinction until she started a breeding programme.

Each Countryfile show will look at farming on a different estate, starting with Windsor. It is there she keeps her favourite horse called Emma.

Mr Pendry said: ‘The Queen loves her, and she loves the Queen. They chose each other.’

But it’s not just Emma who the Queen keeps a close eye on. At Sandringham, where she spends the winter, her stables have had CCTV installed so she can keep an eye on her beloved horses wherever she is in the world, using a computer or smartphone.

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Countryfile’s three-part Queen And Country series begins on Sunday May 27 at 7pm on 1.



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