The Windsor Grey, the carriage horse used by the British Royal Family
The coronation of King Charles III will be a three-day extravaganza taking place over the weekend in the UK with the main event set for Saturday.
This Saturday, 6 May, all eyes will be on Westminster Abbey in London. The coronation of Charles III as King of England has attracted thousands of people to the area with many already camping out to get a glimpse of Saturday’s ceremony at close quarters. Saturday’s ceremony will be the first coronation since 1953, when Elizabeth II ascended to power.
The horses that will pull the Royal carriage between Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace will be the famous Windsor Greys and this breed have been selected by the Royal Family for decades in carrying out this key task.
The Windsor Grey
Trained at the Royal Mews (the royal stables), the horses have been involved in many key royal events in the past. In 2108, at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Windsor Greys were selected to lead the bride and groom in the parade that took place on the day of the ceremony. The horses are also used by the royals for showjumping competitions and a Windsor Grey was ridden by the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, late husband of Elizabeth II.
Elizabeth II, horse lover
With the breed getting its name from the town of Windsor (home to Windsor Castle), the horses were beloved of the late queen, Elizabeth II. During the uncertainty surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic, the Queen ordered the Windsor Greys be relocated to Hampton Court Palace, where they were to remain as long as “they are not needed for official acts”.
One of the Queen’s favourite horses ‘Storm’ became somewhat of a minor celebrity and was so popular with Her Majesty that a life-size statue of them was commissioned in 2013 and unveiled in Windsor to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee.