Excessive facial hair usually gets short shrift in the Army, but a special exception is being made for Movember — the annual November men’s health charity fundraiser.

Inspired by drum horse Mercury’s splendid ‘tache, the men of the Band of the Life Guards have obtained special permission from their Commanding Officer Lt Col Paul Bedford to take part in Movember.

The month-long event involves the growing of moustaches to raise awareness of prostate and other male cancers.

Mercury is a source of inspiration to the previously clean-shaven soldiers, having one of the finest handlebar moustaches in town.

DRUMHORSE MERCURY INSPIRES MOVEMBER MOUSTACHES

“He’s a tough act to follow, but we’re going to give it a go — it is after all in a good cause,” said Mercury’s handler, Trooper Reece Webb.

Come 1 December all the musicians will be clean-shaven again, but Mercury will be keeping his moustache.

All the horses in the Household Cavalry are groomed to a mirror-finish before they leave barracks for their state ceremonial duties, but Drum horses receive extra special treatment.

DRUMHORSE MERCURY INSPIRES MOVEMBER MOUSTACHES

Mercury, a Shire horse, has his long feathers washed, brushed, combed and powdered. His hooves are oiled, white hairs made even whiter with chalk and his famous moustache combed and waxed into Hercule Poirot-like perfection.

To support the Band in their fundraising efforts, visit http://moteam.co/the-band-of-the-life-guards

Does your horse boast a splendid moustache? To be included in our equine Movember gallery, email your pictures to Madeleine_Pitt@ipcmedia.com