A Pembrokeshire horse is currently being put through his paces in preparation for what will undoubtedly be the greatest day of his life – the Coronation of King Charles III.
Major Apollo – or Ed, as he was known during his days at Caerhuan in Eglwyswrw – will be the lead drum horse in the King’s Household Cavalry.
And as the countdown begins to Coronation Day, the army has begun its meticulous preparations to ensure that the royal procession, which takes place on May 6, is faultless.
Just after midnight on Wednesday, the Household Cavalry, The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery and the Band of the Household Cavalry were seen going through their paces in London’s cordoned off streets, and their rehearsals continued into the small hours.
The King and Queen Consort’s 1.3 mile journey will see them travel down The Mall via Admiralty Arch, along the south side of Trafalgar Square, before heading down Whitehall and Parliament Street, and around the east and south sides of Parliament Square to Broad Sanctuary to finally arrive at Westminster Abbey
Timings and manoeuvres of the rehearsals are being checked by the senior staff of the Household Division to ensure that their complex plan is carried out to perfection.
The mighty Ed was chosen by the Household Cavalry back in 2019, four years after his arrival at the Dyfed Shire Horse Farm in Eglwyswrw.
“We’d gone to a horse sale in Uttoxeter without a horse box as we had no intention of buying a horse,” commented his former owner Huw Murphy, who runs the Dyfed Shire Horse Farm.
“But Ed had other ideas and we ended up buying him. As things turned out, he’s the best buy we could ever have made.”
Ed settled into his new life in north Pembrokeshire with ease, and by the age of four, he was happily settling into driving the cart around the farm.
“His quiet demeanour made everyone fall in love with him,” continued Huw, “and this included Camilla, the Queen Consort, when she and the King visited the farm in 2017.
“Ed took Camilla around the farm and she even had a go at driving him.”
Two years later, Huw and his team were paid a visit by the Household Cavalry who were on the hunt for a new horse. Needless to say, Ed’s charm quickly won them over.
“We knew that it was now time to let him fly,” said Huw.
“And this meant that he would be following in the steps of Celt who was another of our shires that had been chosen by the Household Cavalry.
“We’ve always had high hopes that Ed would go on to do well in his career, but we never imagined he would take part in both the Queen’s funeral and now the Coronation of King Charles.
“It’s made us extremely proud.”