Greek Australian Rugby League boss Peter V’landys sat next to Queen Elizabeth during a lunch at Windsor Castle and had the opportunity to discuss a range of topics including politics reported the Daily Mail.
According to the media outlet, V’landys was in England attending the world-famous Royal Ascot races in his capacity as the chief executive of Racing NSW.
‘The Queen and I spoke about a wide range of topics from racing to politics,’ he said of their lunch on Wednesday, which was also attended by his wife Philippa, Prince Charles and Prince Edward.
‘She’s extremely knowledgeable and takes an interest in what you are saying.’
V’landys said the monarch told him that she first found her love of racehorses when she and her father King George VI went to a track meeting and were introduced to the connections of the winning steed.
‘The Queen told me she went and patted the winner and said the horse felt like velvet,’ he told the Daily Telegraph.
‘From that day on, she just loved racehorses. Although her father wasn’t so keen on horse racing, her grandfather [King George V] and her mother were always big fans.
‘The Queen Mother really like her jumps racing so the Queen said she would follow the flat racing.’
John Warren, the Queen’s racing manager, invited V’landys to the lunch as a way of thanking him for all he’s done for the sport.
According to the media report, after the meal, V’landys and his wife Phillipa went into the Royal Ascot course in one of the horse-drawn carriages that formed the royal procession for day two of the carnival.