As the UK and the world mourn the loss of life of Queen Elizabeth II, we’re bearing witness to among the most unusual traditions in British society.
In a single day this has meant viewers being launched to a horse named Lord Firebrand, or Yogi for brief.
Many others listening to about him on social media could also be pondering …
Wait, who’s Lord Firebrand?
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Effectively, he isn’t Lord Farquaad from Shrek.
Yogi is among the roughly 130 horses that type a part of the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery — a ceremonial mounted unit of the British Military.
On Wednesday, Lord Firebrand — sure, that’s his official title — was the horse on the head of the procession taking the Queen’s physique from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Corridor.
Her coffin was positioned on a gun carriage for the journey.
The officer commanding the funeral gun workforce, Captain Amy Cooper, was using Lord Firebrand.
She informed Sky Information UK Lord Firebrand is 14 years outdated and has been on “numerous parades”, together with the Queen’s Birthday Parade.
“He is so dependable and really good-looking,” Captain Cooper stated.
“He is typically ridden on the entrance to be parade commander once we’re firing weapons.”
So the King has a unit of horses?
Sure. It retained the title of the King’s Troop, regardless of Queen Elizabeth II sitting on the throne for seven a long time, as her method of honoring her father.
Originating within the 18th Century, the current unit was fashioned within the aftermath of World Conflict II. They’re stationed on the Woolwich barracks in London’s east.
The King’s Troop has carried the coffins of King George VI and Diana, Princess of Walesin 1952 and 1997 respectively.
However why was he named Lord Firebrand?
Horses belonging to the King’s Troop are named in two separate methodsin line with this interview with a British bombardier.
Gun workforce horses have names which begin with the primary letter of the commanding officer’s final title, similar to Battleaxe and Bellagio.
In the meantime, “chargers” are named after characters in novels by nineteenth century writer Robert Smith Surtees. Horses named this manner embrace The Duke of Dazzleton, Miss Lovelace, Lucy Glitters, and Lord Firebrand.
Like many issues in British society, it is not fairly recognized how this naming conference took place.
Why was the King’s Troop chosen?
Each element of the Queen’s mourning interval was accredited by the Queen herself earlier than her loss of life, so it is doubtless the King’s Troop’s look was a private selection.
This might come as no shock, given Queen Elizabeth’s well-known love of horses.
Along with attending Britain’s premier racing occasion — Royal Ascot — the Queen additionally had hyperlinks to racing in Australia and even had one in every of her horses run on the Melbourne Cup.
Have we seen the final of him?
By the remainder of the Queen’s interval of mourning, we’re unsure.
On the day of her funeral, the Queen’s coffin will probably be taken from Westminster Corridor to Westminster Abbey by the gun carriage. It will occur on Monday morning UK time (September 19), however it will likely be a a lot shorter occasion than the primary procession.
It is doubtless the King’s Troop may have a task on this procession.
Past that, the unit’s web site says steeds from the King’s Troop are commonly deployed to Central London, the Royal Welsh and Royal Windsor Horse Reveals, the Netherlands and Canada.
In different phrases, if you happen to wait round London lengthy sufficient, there’s an opportunity you may see Lord Firebrand in motion.