Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral on Monday will be packed with symbolism – right down to the horses.
The four steeds chosen to lead the Queen’s coffin procession as she leaves Westminster Abbey were all gifted to her by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and embody a decades-long bond between the horse-crazy monarch and the Commonwealth member’s famous Mounties.
The animals trained by Mountie – George, Elizabeth, Darby and Sir John – are the latest in a long line of Canadian horses trained by senior royals including King Charles and Princess Anne during Trooping the Color, the annual parade marking their mother’s official birthday , to be ridden .
“The relationship with Her Majesty is very personal,” RCMP Sergeant Major Scott Williamson told the Sunday Times of London. “We’re on a no-fail mission.”
The Queen, who served as Honorary Commissioner of the Mounties, received her first horse from service in 1969. Burmese, a seven-year-old black mare, soon became her favorite mount.
She rode Burmese in Trooping the Color for 18 years – and was in her saddle in 1981 when a distraught bystander caused havoc by firing six blanks at the Queen. The mare stayed calm thanks to her previous shots.
The four Canadian horses will lead a total of 199 military horses at Monday’s funeral: 102 in the central London procession from Westminster Hall to Wellington Arch and another 97 in a caravan to St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, where the Queen will be laid to rest .
“The horses are undoubtedly an important part of it,” said Captain Catherine Russell, the fleet’s ceremonial coordinator. “We want to make them proud.”
https://nypost.com/2022/09/17/queen-elizabeth-funeral-steeds-to-carry-decades-of-symbolism/ Queen Elizabeth’s funeral steeds carry symbolism spanning decades