In her first year on the throne, Queen Camilla of the United Kingdom has already made changes to diversify and promote gender equality in the monarchy – at least in the stable yard. Drum roll please, just before her hubby King Charles III’s “official birthday” on June 21, the newly-crowned Queen chose a Shire mare to be the drum horse that leads the parade, the first female horse ever chosen for the honour.
The mare, whose original name was Willa Rose, was christened “Juno” in a ceremony at Clarence House. The name change is in keeping with Royal tradition to name drum horses after characters in classic mythology. Juno also made the rank of major and led the parade, known as Trooping the Colour, to mark the official birthday of the monarchy. This date was chosen by King Charles II to ensure the weather would be fine enough for the public to take part in celebrating the monarch’s birthday, even if the actual birthday is on another date (Charles’ is on November 14th). It became a yearly event during the reign of King George III in 1760.
According to the BBC, Juno was bought by the Household Calvary in 2021 and was trained over the past two years for this very call of duty. Her rider was attired in the official dress uniform and Juno also had to bear the weight of two heavy steel drums. And did we mention she had to remain calm and steady among the throngs out to show their respect to their new King? Photographs and video from the event prove that a female, human or horse, is equal to the task of any male.
— Royal Central (@RoyalCentral) June 17, 2023