Duchess and donkey sing carols for Christmas

Photos by Ian Jones for Brooke

The Duchess of Cornwall was among the high-profile supporters of equine welfare charity Brooke at the organisation’s carol service this week.

The Duchess gave a reading from The Lost War Horses of Cairo, by Grant Hayer-Menzies, which details the life of Brooke founder Dorothy Brooke.

World Equestrian Games team champion eventer Gemma Tattersall and Olympic gold medal-winning cyclist Victoria Pendleton were among the other guests at the service, held on 12 December at Guards’ Chapel in London.

Brooke chief executive Petra Ingram told H&H the charity was “delighted” to have the Duchess and other supporters in attendance at the first ever Brooke carol service.

“It was a fantastic success and we were able to raise an amazing amount of money towards helping working horses, donkeys and mules around the world,” she said.

“What a wonderful surprise for all our guests to be welcomed by our four-legged friends Ollie the donkey and Harry the miniature Shetland, who definitely stole the show.

“We’re excited to have Harry join us again at Olympia, the London International Horse Show next week, where Brooke is the official show charity.

“Thank you so much to all our supporters who attended the service and made it a lovely festive day.”

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The Guards’ Chapel organist and choir led the carols and the service was followed by a reception in the Guards’ Museum.

The chapel dates back to the construction of Wellington Barracks in 1834 and today serves the Household Division’s seven regiments, including the Household Cavalry.

The charity raised more than £25,000 from the carol service and proceeds will go towards improving the lives of working horses, donkeys and mules, and the people who depend on them across the world.

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