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

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

Royal Family.

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.