'Mounties look positively resplendent': 4 horses from Royal Canadian staff take charge of the Queen's funeral procession
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM: An emotional moment was witnessed by many present during the Queen’s state funeral at Windsor. Four horses from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police got the honor of leading the ceremonial parade of Her Majesty’s coffin procession from Westminster Abbey. George, Elizabeth, Darby, and Sir John — the four horses have a special connection with the British royal family.
Since 1969, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police had gifted eight horses to the Queen, of which these four still are alive, according to the Royal Central and The Times. "The horses are an unequivocally important part of that," said Captain Catherine Russell, the fleet's ceremonial coordinator, as per the New York Post. "We want to make her proud."
Queen Elizabeth II was Monarch of Canada and received her first horse as a gift in 1969, from the Canadian Mounties, a coal-black mare, called Burmese, claimed The National. It is said that for 18 years the Queen continued to ride the Burmese, which also includes the 1981 incident during which a spectator had fired six blanks toward her, however, she kept her composure and kept riding the horse.
Sergeant Major Scott Williamson shared the experience of leading the procession as an "incredibly humbling" feeling, to The National. “The relationship that we have with Her Majesty is very special and it’s fair to say it’s even become quite personal. It’s hard to describe everything that I am feeling right now. I have the personal emotions of sadness and grief. Obviously there is a lot of pressure right now,“ said Williamson. He also said after riding Darby at the committal ceremony of the Queen, "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."
The Queen's funeral procession was a moment of pride for Canadians, as they took to Twitter to express that. One Canadian wrote, "I don't normally get caught up in ceremonial Canadian pride but this made me extremely proud to be Canadian and an employee of the RCMP. The Queen's funeral procession being led by members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. #QE2 #RCMP #mounties #Canada". Anothet Tweeted saying, "Not just us Brits who do the pomp and circumstance so well. Canadian Mounties look positively resplendent #queensfuneral #Mounties"
I don't normally get caught up in ceremonial Canadian pride but this made me extremely proud to be Canadian and an employee of the RCMP. The Queen's funeral procession being led by members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. #QE2 #RCMP #mounties #Canada pic.twitter.com/VEHXuBK15Y— Jason Mombourquette (@jmombour) September 19, 2022
Queen Elizabeth was fond of horseback riding since her childhood, and this was expressed even by the royal family in their Tweet from 2020. “Her Majesty has enjoyed riding since childhood and is closely involved with the welfare of the horses she owns "for breeding, riding and racing," as per the family.
Her Majesty has enjoyed riding since childhood and is closely involved with the welfare of the horses she owns for breeding, riding and racing.— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) May 31, 2020
📸: Press Association pic.twitter.com/qKUYDuJViG