4 Horses Gifted To Queen Elizabeth By the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Take Part In Her Funeral

·2 min read
4 Horses Gifted To Queen Elizabeth By the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Take Part In Her Funeral

The four horses leading Queen Elizabeth's State Funeral on Monday have a special history with the British royal family.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police has gifted eight horses to the Queen since 1969, according to Royal Central and The Times of London.

Four of those horses — George, Elizabeth, Darby and Sir John — are still alive today, per the outlets.

These special horses helped lead the Queen's coffin procession from Westminster Abbey during Monday's funeral for Her Majesty.

"The horses are an unequivocally important part of that," said Capt. Catherine Russell, the fleet's ceremonial coordinator, according to the New York Post. "We want to make her proud."

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Queen Elizabeth II Funeral- Mounties
Queen Elizabeth II Funeral- Mounties

BBC America

As Monarch of Canada, Queen Elizabeth was gifted her first horse from the Canadian Mounties, a coal black mare named Burmese, in 1969, according to The National and the Post.

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Her Majesty rode Burmese for 18 years at Trooping the Color, including the 1981 incident during which a spectator shot six blanks toward the queen, who maintained her composure while still riding her horse, per the reports.

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royal canadian mounties
royal canadian mounties

Marko Djurica - WPA Pool/Getty

Like Burmese, the Queen's four horses from the Mounted Police are trained for occasions like Monday's funeral, where hundreds of people paid their final respects to the late monarch.

Sergeant Major Scott Williamson described leading the procession as an "incredibly humbling" feeling, per The National.

royal canadian mounties
royal canadian mounties

Marko Djurica - WPA Pool/Getty

"We are in what we would call a "no-fail mission" right now, and that is to represent the force and the great people of this country during this ceremony," said Williamson, who rode Darby at the event.

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When they are not at work, the four horse are kept at the Royal Mews, where the royal family keeps its state vehicles such as horse-drawn carriages and motor cars, per Royal Central.

Queen Elizabeth was known to enjoy horseback riding, a hobby she has had "since childhood" according to a 2020 tweet from The Royal Family.

Her Majesty was "closely involved with the welfare of the horses" she owned during her lifetime "for breeding, riding and racing," per the family.