The Queen officially names new Household Cavalry Drum Horse
Published 15 June 2023
In a small ceremony in the Clarence House Garden, The Queen met the Household Cavalry’s newest Drum Horse and revealed their official name, Juno.
After completing 2 years of training, Juno will be the first mare to take on this iconic role for the Regiment. She is set to formally pass out of training at The King’s Birthday Parade this weekend, where she will carry the rank of Major and will be front and centre as she helps lead the mounted parade down The Mall to Horse Guards.
At Clarence House, The Queen was greeted by the Commanding Officer of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel Tom Armitage LG, who introduced Her Majesty to the Shire Horse mare, who was previously known as Willa Rose. To mark the official naming, The Queen presented Juno with a headcollar featuring a brass name plaque.
By tradition Drum Horses are given names from classical mythology. Queen Elizabeth II chose the names of the Drum Horses throughout her reign – most recently in 2017 when Perseus was officially named during a visit to Hyde Park Barracks.
Juno was bought by the Household Cavalry in 2021 and has now completed two years of training. During the ceremony, Her Majesty had the opportunity to speak to soldiers from the Regiment to learn more about what it takes to train a Drum Horse.
To be considered ready for Parade, Juno has shown that she is able to be ridden with reins operated by the stirrups, while carrying an adult in full ceremonial uniform, along with the two silver kettledrums. She has also proven that she is able to cope with crowd noise and be confident to stand out in front and lead the band.
Also present at the ceremony was Mr Huw Murphy, the owner of Dyfed Shire Horses in Wales, where Juno was bred. In 2018, as The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, Their Majesties visited Dyfed Shire Horses and even met a young Juno. Inspired by the visit, Her Majesty chose Huw as one of her rural heroes when she guest edited the July 2022 edition of Country Life.
The event finished with a group photograph, and Her Majesty was presented with a portrait of Juno by the artist Mandy Shepherd.
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
The Household Cavalry is a union of the two most senior regiments in the British Army; The Life Guards and The Blues & Royals. It is divided into the Household Cavalry Regiment and the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment. The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment are the ceremonial face of the Regiment, conducting mounted state and public duties in London.
The Band of The Household Cavalry is comprised of musicians from The Royal Corps of Army Music and is one of 14 Regular Army Bands in the British Army. With over sixty musicians, the band is now the largest Regular military band in the UK.
The famous Drum Horses lead the band, and it is recorded that as early as 1660 the Regiment was preceded by its own mounted kettledrummer and four trumpeters. Holding the rank of Major, Drum Horses are the most senior animals in the Army.
The late Queen Elizabeth II had a close interest in the Drum Horses and selected their names. Previous names have included Hector, Leonidas, Janus, Spartacus, Constantine, Horatius and Mercury. Juno will join the other Drum Horses, who are Perseus, Atlas and Apollo.
Dyfed Shire Horses
The Dyfed Shire Horse farm is based in Carnhuan, Eglwswrw, Pembrokeshire. Farmed by eight generations of the same family since 1849, the farm has been open to the public since 1992 to promote the Shire horse breed. A native UK breed of horse, Shire Horses are currently listed as ‘at risk’ by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust.
A number of Dyfed Shire Horses have joined the Household Cavalry. The first one was Mercury, who was named by Queen Elizabeth II in 2010 and served in the Household Cavalry for over 10 years.
Apollo, who pulled the carriage when the then Duchess of Cornwall visited the farm in 2018, joined the Household Cavalry in 2019, and received his official name in Spring 2022. Apollo most recently took part in the Coronation Procession in May.
Dyfed Willa Rose (now known as Juno) was born at the farm on 10/05/2013.
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