Monarch, the grey roan gelding that led the team of eight drawing The Queen’s Gold State Coach during the Golden Jubilee celebrations of 2002, has died aged 25.
The 16.1hh horse had spent the past six years at The Horse Trust’s Home of Rest for Horses in Speen, Buckinghamshire, where he was a popular character.
“Monarch was a pleasure to have with us,” said yard manager Shirley Abbott. “He was always a perfect gentleman and we will miss his morning whicker when we bring the horses their breakfast each day.”
Head groom Charlotte Pardon told H&H that Monarch would leave “quite a gap” at the home.
“He had a bit of a penchant for the ladies. But at the same time he was afraid of his own shadow and terrified of the donkeys,” she said.
On 4 June 2002, Monarch’s team drew The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh from Buckingham Palace along a route lined by a million people to St Paul’s Cathedral where a National Service of Thanksgiving took place. During his 16-year service Monarch also drew the mail carriage, taking correspondence between the Palace and the Royal Mews.
Other famous animals enjoying their retirement in Speen are Tom, who also served at Buckingham Palace, and Sefton, named in honour of the horse that was injured in the 1982 Hyde Park bombing.