Cheeky military mascot Cruachan IV has had another memorable meeting with royalty.

The Shetland pony achieved international fame last year after a clip of him taking a swipe at The Queen’s bouquet went viral.

The pair met again on 6 August as Her Majesty was officially welcomed to Balmoral Castle with a royal guard provided by the Balaklava Company, the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders and Cruachan IV.

Cruachan was on his best behaviour on this occasion, but the call of nature knows no appropriate timing and the pony relieved himself in front of the immaculate row of soldiers.

The Queen was spotted holding her nose against the fragrance of the fresh rose fertiliser deposited outside her summer abode as she turned away.

Cruachan later “tweeted” to say Pony Major Mark Wilkinson has told him to “carry on Cruachan but carrots have been rationed !!!”

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The 9hh gelding took on the role as regimental mascot for the Royal Regiment of Scotland in 2012 and has met many royals and VIPs during his service.

In February this year, he was introduced to Prince Harry and his then fiancée Meghan Markle, now the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

While the duke was chatting to the Shetland’s handler, the adorable equine spotted an opportunity for mischief and took a sneaky nibble of the prince’s fingers.

The duchess laughed as Harry gave the pony a scratch on the nose in return.

Cruachan’s busy year continued with a trip to London in April, where he visited the Household Cavalry and struck up a friendship with his neighbour in the capital, Adamas — a 17.1hh drum horse.

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