Queen meets her own former racehorse at King’s Troop anniversary parade

  • A soldier who was on parade when the King’s Troop was created by George VI in 1947 was present when The Queen inspected the troop on its 70th anniversary — as was a former racehorse once owned by Her Majesty.

    Percy Austen, who was serving as C sub-section centre driver when the Queen’s father renamed the Royal Artillery’s riding troop in 1947, was presented with an engraved cartridge case to mark the occasion, in Hyde Park yesterday (19 October).

    Six guns and more than 80 horses and their riders from the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, The Queen’s ceremonial saluting battery, were on parade today (19 October).

    A spokesman for the troop said: “After a royal salute and the National Anthem, parade commander Major Harry Wallace invited Her Majesty to inspect the troop, which she did from a Range Rover.

    “Her Majesty then watched the troop with their guns perform a trot past, canter past, and an advance in review order.”

    Pictures by Corporal Dek Traylor / MoD Crown

    The Queen also met her own former racehorse Knock Castle, whom she has given to the troop to be retrained as a parade horse, and soldiers and veterans including Mr Austen.

    “Her Majesty was shown the first review document signed by her father in 1947 in which he struck out the word “Riding” and inserted “King’s” to name the troop as his own,” said the spokesman, who added that The Queen signed another document to mark the anniversary.

    All soldiers of the King’s Troop, which is stationed in Woolwich Barracks in London, are “superb equestrians” trained to drive teams of six horses who pull the First World War “13-pounder” state saluting guns.

    The gunners are also trained as soldiers and deploy internationally as and when required.

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