King Charles III is the proud owner of a new 7-year-old black mare named Noble. The horse was a gift to the King from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to celebrate the 150th anniversary of that group’s founding. It’s their birthday, but Charles is the one who ends up with the gift somehow. It’s good to be the King!
As per PEOPLE, the King met Noble earlier this week at The Royal Mews in Windsor, which houses the royal family’s stables. She wore the King’s royal symbol printed in red, navy, and gold, and an elaborate bridal made of gold chains and dark brown leather. A leather strap across the mare’s head featured a golden crown symbol. It may sound a little ungapatchka, but we assure you that Noble more than pulls it off.
The RCMP’s tradition of gifting horses to the Crown began in 1904. During her reign, Queen Elizabeth II accepted eight horses, beginning in 1969. That first horse, Burmese, was the Queen’s go-to mode of transportation at 18 Trooping the Colour events. After Burmese in 1969 came Centennial (1973), James (1998), George (2009), Elizabeth (2012), Sir John (2016), and Kluane and Darby (2019). George is currently in use as a charger horse by King Charles, Sir John by Princess Anne, and Darby by Prince William. (The RCMP’s press release notes that Darby was Prince Andrew‘s horse up until last year.) Those three horses, plus Elizabeth, reported as “the four still living,” all took part in the Queen’s funeral.)
Noble is what is called a Musical Ride horse, meaning it had the honor of being part of a traveling equestrian show run by the RCMP that dates back to 1887. Indeed, she got her name as part of the Canadian police’s annual Name the Foal contest. Why don’t we have any of this stuff in America? I’d like to name a royal horse, wouldn’t you?
As per the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, “The King and Her Majesty The Queen Consort visited the Musical Ride in May 2022 during the Royal Tour of Canada for Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee, where they met with the horses and riders of the Musical Ride, toured the facilities and took in a special performance from this truly Canadian spectacle.”
If you are suddenly realizing you have no idea what the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are, we’re here to help. The “Mounties,” as they are nicknamed, (or the Gendarmerie royale du Canada, to the French-speaking population of the Great White North), are the national police force tasked with enforcing federal laws. Local municipalities in Canada have their own police force, and without the fanfare of “the Red Serge”—those striking hats and red tunics that make up the RCMP’s dress uniform. As a general rule, RCMP officers no longer do their work from atop a horse, though the silhouette of a horse and rider is incorporated onto some of their vehicles. Every now and then you see a cop on a horse in New York, so maybe if you do something illegal in Winnipeg a clopping sound could mean you are about to get busted.
In 1961, the cartoon Dudley Do-Right, a caricature of a good-natured-but-kinda-dense RCMP officer, made its first appearance on The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show. A 1999 film starred Brendan Fraser, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Alfred Molina. It was written and directed by Hugh Wilson, whose other works included Guarding Tess, the first Police Academy, and the television series WKRP in Cincinnati.
In October of last year, it was reported that King Charles earned over £1 million selling 14 of his late mother’s horses. The Queen owned 37 at the time of her death.