Police horse Annabel’s lead role in the Royal Wedding
A police horse from the Metropolitan Police Mounted Branch stable in East
London will play an integral role in escorting the Royal Carriage
Procession for Prince William and his new wife on return from
Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace on Friday.
Police horse Annabel who is based at Bow Stables will form part of nine
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horses that make up the Grey Escorts. At 21 years old she is currently
the longest serving Grey, she has been in the Met since 1997.
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This experienced Grey has been involved in the state visits of Mexican
and Canadian officials, the State Opening of Parliament and has been on
duty for Trooping of the Colour.
The Royal Wedding is one of several high profile ceremonial events where
the Mounted Branch provides Sovereign’s Escorts. The Mounted Branch has
led such processions for many years including Princess Diana’s wedding,
the Duke of York’s wedding the funeral of the Queen Mother, Trooping the
Colour and some State Visits.
The Escort on the day will be led by a mounted Inspector who rides as
the “Pointer”. This role involves the Inspector leading the procession,
made up of the Calvary, the married couple and other members of the
Behind the Pointer there will be one mounted Sergeant and three
Constables, all of which make up the front of the Grey Escort.
A mounted Sergeant and three mounted Constables will also make up the
rear of the escort, with each group of four mounted officers and their
horses referred to as a Section. In total there will be nine Grey horses
and officers forming the escort. All the horses used are operational
police horses and grey in colour. Care is taken to ensure the horses
have the temperament to cope with the event.
On the day the mounted officers in the Grey Escort will wear a uniform
consisting of a silver lanyard and silver striped breeches.
A vast amount of preparation has been carried out before the Royal
Wedding. Through selection and training sessions Annabel is one of 11
horses that have been chosen to take part in the ceremonial event due to
demonstrating a good and calm temperament. Eleven horses have been
identified to ensure that there is sufficient cover in the eventuality
that a horse will not be available for duty on the day.