Sophie leads her little girl away after her encounter with the guardsman. The toddler, who is rarely seen out and about, turns three this year
Photo: © Rex
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Prince Edward donned a red riding hat and jodhpurs for an afternoon on horseback
Photo: © Rex


12 APRIL 2006

The youngest member of the royal household is already taking a keen interest in the goings-on at Windsor Castle. Little Lady Louise, who turns three this year, seemed fascinated by all the sights and sounds of her grandmother's country home when she spent the afternoon with her mum and other leading members of the family.

A young soldier, standing to attention in his sharply-cut officer's uniform, had the little girl positively entranced. In keeping with time-honoured tradition, however, the royal guard had to refrain from acknowledging his young inquisitor and maintain his serious demeanor.

Louise's parents, the Earl and Countess of Wessex, have been careful to shield their little girl from media attention, rarely including her in public engagements. A family get-together at the Berkshire estate provided a perfect opportunity for the toddler to spend some time with her nearest and dearest, though.

Mum Sophie, casually dressed in a fleece top and jeans, took the blonde youngster by the hand while her dad Prince Edward donned his riding hat and boots for an afternoon on horseback. The Queen meanwhile proved that, despite the approach of her 80th birthday, she still enjoys a day in the saddle, as does her husband Prince Philip, who turns 85 in June.

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