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Charles and William riding horseback© Getty

Special Trooping the Colour appearance confirmed - and royal fans will be delighted

The King's birthday parade takes place in London on 15 June

Danielle Stacey
Online Royal CorrespondentLondon
June 14, 2024
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Three military horses that bolted through central London earlier this year will have roles in Trooping the Colour on Saturday.

Five Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment (HCMR) horses were injured after being spooked by rubble being dropped through a plastic tunnel while on an exercise in Belgravia on 24 April.

Horses Tennyson, Trojan and Vanquish will take part in the King’s Birthday Parade after making "swift and successful" recoveries and showing "such aptitude and eagerness", the Army said on Thursday.

It has been confirmed that Tennyson will be riding in the prestigious Sovereign's Escort at the rear rank of the second division, and will be ridden by the division's most experienced rider, Corporal of Horse Harvey, to provide "extra confidence".

Meanwhile, Trojan and Vanquish will join the King's Life Guard at Horse Guards, providing the ceremonial guard for the official entrance to the Royal Palaces, the Army said.

All three horses underwent rehabilitation at Hyde Park Barracks and a period of "expert respite care" at equine charity The Horse Trust following the incident, before returning to service last month.

The charity shared a video of the horses at their paddock in the Chiltern Hills just one week ago.

View post on Instagram

The Instagram post read in part: "We are pleased to announce that the soldiers and horses injured in London, are continuing to make remarkable progress in their recovery.

"For the horses, this is thanks in no small part to the excellent in-house care they’ve received from our own dedicated veterinary surgeons and the amazing specialist support provided by @TheHorseTrust."

It added: "Three of the injured soldiers are back on duty and two are continuing to recover but are also expected to make a full return to service. We are so thankful for everyone's concern and expressions of support, and for all those involved in their care."

The other two more seriously injured horses from April's incident, Vida and Quaker, remain at The Horse Trust and "will do so for as long as they need".

Two horses on the loose bolt through the streets of London near Aldwych© Getty
Two of the runaway horses bolting through the streets of London near Aldwych in April

But confirmation of the horses' participation in the royal event comes after animal rights group Peta wrote to the Army urging them to withdraw the horses and retire them permanently, warning of a risk to both the animals' and the public’s safety.

Kate Werner, Peta's senior campaigns manager, said in the letter: "Tradition is never an excuse for animal suffering, and each horse deserves to live free from the stress they endure when paraded through a busy, loud capital city with a human on their back, all for the amusement of noisy, unpredictable crowds."

All change at Trooping the Colour 2024

The King will participate in the military parade on 15 June, travelling by carriage with the Queen, instead of riding horseback as he has done in previous years.

Charles and Camilla watching Trooping the Colour flypast© Getty
The King will ride in a carriage this year with the Queen

Charles, 75, recently returned to public-facing duties amid his ongoing cancer treatment.

He is expected to be joined by senior royals during the ceremony but it remains to be seen whether the Princess of Wales, who is also being treated for cancer, will make an appearance.

The parade culminates with the royals stepping out onto the Buckingham Palace balcony to watch the Royal Air Force flypast.

LISTEN: Why Princess Kate could make an appearance at Trooping the Colour


Princess Kate wearing black and white polka dots and a hat

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