Death of Queen Elizabeth: why Australian horse trainer Chris Waller turned down an invitation to a funeral

A well-known horse trainer who enjoyed private phone calls with Queen Elizabeth said he was forced to turn down an invitation to the monarch’s funeral.

Chris Waller, who lives in Sydney but was born in New Zealand, was scheduled to fly to London to attend the service on Monday.

However, the 49-year-old announced yesterday that he would not be able to attend, along with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and his partner Jodie Haydon, as well as a number of big names including Australian of the Year Dylan Alcott and Governor General David Hurley.

On social media Thursday, Mr Waller confirmed that the decision was made for reasons “related to Covid-19” and a close family member is known to have been affected by the illness.

“I am honored and very grateful to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and the people of Australia for giving me the opportunity to represent the country at the farewell of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II,” he said.

“Unfortunately, due to circumstances related to Covid-19, I am unable to attend the funeral.

“Like many others, I will live and cherish for the rest of my life fond memories of Her Majesty; her love for horses and all animals, her passion for life and the respect she had for ordinary people.”

Mr Waller said he “expresses his deepest condolences to the royal family and to the rest of the world that is currently mourning.”

“What a wonderful life Her Majesty has lived and what an inspiration she has been and will continue to be for many generations around the world.”

Mr. Waller, who trained the legendary Winx racehorses, was a close friend of the Queen, who kept one of her horses, Chalkstream, in her stable.

Upon learning that he was one of ten “everyday” figures selected to attend the funeral on behalf of Australia, he reflected on his relationship with the Queen.

“It’s a huge honor, it’s simple,” Waller said.

“Her Majesty has influenced many people around the world and she has a particular interest in animals, horses and racehorses.

“My association was very small, I trained a horse for her and talked to her from time to time, and also had the opportunity to meet her several times.

“It touched me.

“Very sad that she died, sad for her family and support group.”

Meanwhile, Mr. Albanese had already left Sydney to travel to the UK, an RAF flight departing Australia late Thursday evening.

It is expected to arrive in the UK early Friday morning UK time.

Horse racing royals Guy Waterhouse and her husband Robbie have also received private engagements and the couple are now heading to the UK.

The list of 10 “ordinary citizens” invited to the funeral includes Mr. Olcott, Valmay Dempsey – Senior Australian 2022, Dr. Miriam-Rose Unganmerr Baumann – Senior Australian 2021, Shanna Wang – Local Hero 2022. of the Year, Saba Abraham – Local Hero from Queensland, Kim Smith – Local Hero from Tasmania, Trudy Lin – Young Australian of the Year 2022, Danny Abdallah – co-creator of the i4give Day and Foundation and Professor Helen Milroy – Western Australians of the Year 2021 were invited.

Controversial army veteran Ben Roberts-Smith, who is at the center of a libel case with Nine Entertainment, is also heading to London for the ceremony, after the Queen requested that all recipients of the Victoria Cross be invited.

Read related topics:Queen Elizabeth II

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