The Horse That Led the Coronation Procession Has This Special Connection to Queen Elizabeth II

Coronation horses.
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As is customary, King Charles III, 74, was pulled in his carriage (called the Gold State Coach) during the coronation procession Saturday, and because this carriage weighs about 4 metric tons, it requires the assistance of eight horses. However, besides the horses pulling the carriage, the coronation also involved 200 other horses, one of which was a nod to the late Queen Elizabeth II.

The eight “Windsor Greys” that pulled the golden carriage are named Icon, Shadow, Milford Haven, Newark, Echo, Knightsbridge, Meg and Tyrone. However, there was one horse that led the coronation procession, named Major Apollo, who was also used during Queen Elizabeth II's funeral procession.

Horses Guard.
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Major Apollo had a special role during the coronation as the leading steed, and he also carried the ceremonial kettle drum. And while he took part in Queen Elizabeth's funeral, the horse's connection to the royal family goes years back. As noted by BBC, Camilla Parker Bowles and King Charles visited the farm where Major Apollo—then named Ed—was raised, and he transported the royal couple around on a carriage ride in 2018.

It is a touching gesture for King Charles to include a horse from his mother's funeral procession, given that his mom always adored the galloping animals.

All throughout her life, Queen Elizabeth had a fondness for horses, and it all started when she was given a Shetland pony at the age of 4.

Even into her nineties, the monarch was captured going for horseback rides around the grounds of Windsor Castle, and she loved betting with her racehorses too.

procession hero
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A nice wink to your mother, Charles.

For more about the royalslisten to the Royally Obsessed podcast with co-hosts Rachel Bowie and Roberta Fiorito. Subscribe now or follow us on Instagram @royallyobsessedpodcast.

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Associate Editor, News and Entertainment

Joel is the Associate Editor for News & Entertainment and has been reporting on all things pop culture for over 5 years. Before working at PureWow, he served as a Features...