Since 1929 the Virgin of Guadalupe has held the title of Queen of La Hispanidad. This means that every year on 12th October, the anniversary of the arrival of the ships of Columbus in America, this festival is celebrated in a very special way with great solemnity in the town of Guadalupe. Among all the events the procession of horses and riders from all parts of Extremadura stands out.
The link between Guadalupe and America is not restricted to the visits made by Columbus to the Catholic Monarchs in the Real Monasterio. The navigator named an island in the new world in honour of the Virgin and baptised the first Indians brought to Europe in the font opposite the monastery. Conquistadors and monks took the cult of the Virgin of Guadalupe to the new world and implemented it over a large part of Latin America.
In 1929 Alfonso XIII crowned the image as Queen of La Hispanidad; that moment saw the foundation of the Guard of Honour or Royal Association of Horsemen of Santa María de Guadalupe with the aim of preserving the festival in honour of the Virgin. Ever since then on 12th October Guadalupe has been the scenario for an unusual procession of horses and riders. At the start of the event the procession of horsemen reaches the Plaza de Santa María de Guadalupe where the Eucharist is celebrated.