The Royal Jersey Herd at Windsor
In 1837 Her Majesty Queen Victoria ascended the Throne, and shortly after graciously
granted Her Royal Patronage upon the Jersey Royal Agricultural and Horticultural Society.
She visited the Island of Jersey with the Prince Consort in 1846, when a gift of fruit was
presented to her. The following year the Society sent a two year old heifer (bought from
Mr. Thomas Filleul for £23) and a yearling bull with another heifer, both given by the
Society`s President, Sir John Le Couteur, to Windsor, where Sir John, representing the
Society made a gift of the animals to Prince Albert.
Sir John Le Couteur tells in his diary: "Took a mail train from Paddington
to Slough, got there and on to Windsor by 10. Called to see Lord Spencer, the Lord
Chamberlain...who oblingly sought for Colonel Phipps. He being away, the Earl referred me
to General Wemyss at the home farm, where the appointment was made, and here I repaired.
Unluckily for me the Queen had just driven to see the cattle...and had just left,
otherwise I should have explained matters to herself in person unattended, for Her Majesty
happened to be in her pony chaise. I sent my card to the Prince, who sent for the cattle
to show them to the Duchess of Kent at Frogmore. There we found the Grand Duke Constantine
of Russia, the Prince of Saxe Weimar, the Prince of Saxe Leningen, Prince George of
Cambridge and a host of attendants. All the royalty came out with Prince Albert, who spoke
to me in the most kind and affable manner, even so much so as to reach out his hand,
then to recollect etiquette: and very kindly and politely expressed his sense of the
compliment, a very acceptable one, of the very beautiful cattle which the Jersey
Agricultural Society had made to him: and desired me to make suitable thanks to the
society in the most gracious terms. The animals were greatly admired. The Grand Duke asked
the Prince what were their valuable points beyond their beauty. The Prince of Saxe Weimar
put me the same question, which I explained. The Prince then handed Tocque and I to
General Wemyss and charged him, as he afterwards told me, to show us every civility and
attention. The kind General then took us all over the royal aviary, dairy farms etc.,
where everything is nearly "comme il faut". His farming is really good, and real
improvements have taken place since old K., the late King`s farmer had them".
Victorian Voices. An introduction to the papers of Sir John Le Couteur,
Q.A.D.C., F.R.S. by Joan Stevens. Drawings by Charles Stevens. 1969.
The Victoria Cow "Buffie" by Thomas Sidney Cooper, 1848.
Both the Queen and Prince Albert were extremely interested in agricultural reform,
setting up a model farm on their new estate at Osborne and enlarging and improving the
farms at Windsor and Balmoral. Their involvement lent further momentum to the national
agricultural movement. Cattle Show was held at Windsor Home Park. The Queen named
her favourite farm animals after members of her family and employed several artists
to paint them. In 1848 the famous animal painter Thomas Sidney Cooper was summoned to
Osborne House in Isle of Wight to paint Queen Victoria`s Jersey Cow "Buffie"
which had been presented to her by the Island of Jersey.
Most of the paintings of royal farm animals have been dispersed or destroyed, but
fortunately photographs of several of them survive in the Royal Collection inventories.
More sophisticated farm animal paintings, such as Keyl`s Among the Southdowns or Thomas
Sidney Cooper`s Jersey Cow, were hung inside the Royal Palaces.
Prince Consort Farm
The oldest herd in the English Jersey Cattle Society`s herd book carries the Windsor
prefix and is owned by HM the Queen. It was established in 1871 by Queen Victoria.
The Golden Girl by Jeremy Hunt [Country Life 29th June 1995]
By 1863, there were 80 Shorthorn and 12 Alderney cows being milked at the farm and
total stock totalled 240 head. The first Jersey cow recorded on the farm was in 1871 with
the arrival of Pretty Polly from Osborne House on the Isle of Wight, where Her Late
Majesty, Queen Victoria had a small herd. There are 10 cows in the herd today which can be
traced back to Pretty Polly.
Fauvic`s Juanita was bought in 1931 and Coronet`s Grace and Lionheart Grace are direct
descendants in the herd today. Queen Lavender 1913 has five progeny milking at this time.
There appears to have been a period of establishment with no further female additions
recorded until the early 1950s when the Sandringham herd was dispersed. At this time the
Sandringham Jade, Galaxy and Nan families were added. In 1959 two Hursley cows, Riff and
Reverie, were purchased and made a strong impression on the herd. Riffs breeding features
in the cows Polyanthus, Cyclamen and Gillyflower. Reverie produced Cardinal`s Kerrie and
Lousise`s Prophecy and has more than 20 offspring in the herd today.
Purchases from the Jersey island and the mainland in the 1960s and 70s extended the female
base. The Natalie family through Golden Natali`s Maid, Sparkling Natalie and Surprise
Sparks Natalie have made significant contributions being descendants of Natalie`s Nell.
In 1977 the Crocus and Haughty families were introduced from the world-famous Ferdon herd
in New Zealand. Since this time further families have been added to strengthen the female
On the paternal side some notable sires have been used. Browny`s Louise`s Sparkler and
Itaska`s Fillpail King from the Island of Jersey both made significant contributions with
Sparker siring many Royal Show champions.
With the introduction of New Zealand blood into the herd there is no doubt that Ferdon
Glens Coronet and later, Ferdon Tandra`s Elton both left their stamp. It is interesting to
note that the winning Burke Trophy pair at the Royal Show 1982 were sired by Coronet and
out of cows sired by Sparkler.
To complete the international contribution, Canadian bloodlines have been introduced
through the legendary Meadowlawn Bright Spot and Valleystream Silver Jay. An outstanding
example of the latter sire is seen in Windsor Silver J. Octobergirl 3 EX92 out of a
Coronet cow. Currently, Meadowlawn J Imperial is being used.
The Royal Jersey Herd Windsor. Brochure, 1992.