A gift fit for a king: The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) recently presented “Noble,” a 7-year-old, 16.2-hand black Hanoverian mare, to King Charles III of Great Britain in recognition of both the RCMP’s 150th anniversary and The King’s upcoming coronation.
“The King has shared a personal connection to the RCMP as our Honorary Commissioner since 2012,” reads an official RCMP press release. “More recently, 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.
“His Majesty personally requested a horse from the Musical Ride to eventually be his new charger horse (ridden for Trooping the Color parades) when his current horse, George, retires,” the press release continues. “George was presented to Queen Elizabeth II in 2009 and has been The King’s charger horse since that year.”
According to a March 11 announcement on the British royal household’s official website, “His Majesty was pleased to meet Noble for the first time at The Royal Mews earlier this week.”
As the royal household’s official announcement recounts, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) are known for their world-famous Musical Ride–a showcase of cavalry equestrian skills–and have a long association with The Royal Family. “Having taken part in The Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, the ‘Mounties’ went on to present Her Late Majesty with eight horses throughout her reign. The first of these was Burmese, in 1969, who Queen Elizabeth II rode at Trooping the Color for 18 years,” it reads.
“Noble toured with the RCMP’s Musical Ride in 2022, where she was recognized for her superior physical and athletic ability, as well as her composed personality,” the announcement continues. “Having demonstrated her potential during the tour with the Musical Ride, participating in 90 public performances at 50 different locations in Canada, Noble was selected as the ideal horse for His Majesty because of her size and ability. Her calm demeanor allows her to thrive in the sometimes raucous atmosphere of exciting public events.”
Noble was bred and trained in Canada as part of the RCMP breeding program in Ontario. She is a daughter of the stallion High Spirits and received her name through the RCMP’s annual “Name the Foal” contest.
Because the convention for a Hanoverian mare’s name dictates that it begin with the same letter as her sire’s name, Noble’s registered moniker is actually “Her Noble.” However, the RCMP says it has always used just the name “Noble” on name plates, halter, tack boxes, etc.
Horses and history
The formal relationship between the RCMP and The Royal Family dates back to 1904, when King Edward VII bestowed the title of Royal on the North-West Mounted Police, making it the Royal North-West Mounted Police.
Four members of the RCMP, riding horses they had gifted to The Queen, took part in Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral procession in September 2022.
Besides the legendary Burmese, the other horses given to Queen Elizabeth II are:
- Centenial (gifted in 1973 to mark RCMP centenary)
- James (gifted in 1998 as part of RCMP 125th anniversary) The King as Prince of Wales regularly rode James for Trooping the Colour
- George (gifted in 2009 to mark 40th anniversary since Burmese) The King as Prince of Wales has ridden George for Trooping the Colour
- Elizabeth (gifted in 2012 to mark Diamond Jubilee)
- Sir John (gifted in 2016 to mark Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th birthday)
- Kluane and Darby (both gifted in 2019 to mark 80th anniversary of breeding program and 50th anniversary of presentation of Burmese).
According to the RCMP, three horses are currently in use as charger horses for The Royal Family: George (for The King), Sir John (for Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal), and Darby (for The Prince of Wales last year, and The Duke of York prior).
The official coronation ceremony for The King and his wife Camilla, the Queen Consort, will take place on May 6.
Source for landing page image of King Charles III and Noble: The Royal Family/Instagram [BUCKINGHAM PALACE/AFP/GETTY]