These ponies trot up to Orlando’s front door within days of the many court cases arrayed against her over a century or so being settled in her favour.¬† This gives her formal recognition as a living being, as opposed to a dead one, of which she had been accused, followed by urgent invitations to dine with the queen.

I wondered if there were some equestrian protocol behind the queen’s having ‘cream-coloured ponies’ but have found only one reference to Queen Victoria’s having had such a pony.

‘The Queen’s cream-coloured ponies were soon seen trotting up the avenue with a command to Orlando to dine and sleep at the Castle, that very same night.’

Source: Virginia Woolf, Orlando: A Biography, ed. with an introduction by Rachel Bowlby (Oxford: World’s Classics, 1992), p. 244

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