Royal horses in crowd training for coronation day, King’s head coachman says

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Horses in the Royal Mews are undergoing special crowd training ready to deal with the thousands of spectators on coronation day.

Matthew Power, the King’s head coachman, said staff at the equestrian stables, which is home to the historic royal carriages, are turning out to greet the animals with flags, drums, shouts and cheers on a daily basis to make sure they are ready.

Mr Power said the same eight Windsor Greys will be used to pull the Gold State Coach on May 6 as for the Platinum Jubilee in 2022.

The Gold State Coach with models of horses in the Royal Mews
The Gold State Coach with models of horses in the Royal Mews (Yui Mok/PA)

“Every time we come back on a daily exercise, the whole village community here in the Mews comes out,” Mr Power said.

“They’re all screaming and cheering and everyone who’s not out mucking out is coming out with flags and drums.”

He added: “The Gold State Coach is a big heavy vehicle so we do put weights in the back of the vehicles and just gradually build up so the horses, their necks get used to pulling such a weight.”

Mr Power, 35, is in charge of Charles and the Queen Consort’s safety in the carriages on the day, and said: “It’s quite some task, I must admit.”

Platinum Jubilee
The coach making its way past Buckingham Palace during the Platinum Jubilee celebrations (Ben Stansall/PA)

“Obviously if one horse rears or does something wrong, His Majesty the King will feel it in the vehicle,” he added.

He said of Charles: “He’s very much interested in everything we do here and it was obviously his decision to take the vehicles that he’s chosen to use.”

Mr Power will ride wheel postillion – the near left-hand side horse – for both the Diamond Jubilee State Coach, which will be used for the journey to Westminster Abbey, and for the Gold State Coach on the way back.

He will control the speed, direction and the stopping of the horses and carriages.

The Gold State Coach was last used in the Platinum Jubilee pageant in 2022 when it featured a hologram of the late Queen on her coronation day.

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