Queens special horses pay farewell with one final act of service

Two of the Queen’s horses are paying their final respects to the late monarch, by helping clear up tributes left by the public following her death.

The rare grey shire horses, Heath, 17, and Nobby, 14, had a “special” relationship with Queen Elizabeth II.

She first saw them when they appeared on the Channel 5 series Hampton Court: Behind Closed Doors.

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Head coachman Edward McDowell said: "She spotted them, showed the clip to her yard manager and said to him, 'I want those two for the Jubilee parade'."

Mr McDowell added: "It's an honour and a privilege – of course we all jumped at the chance. But it's particularly right for them, they're paying their respects."

Heath and Nobby lived at Windsor Castle, where they impressed the Queen on their first meeting.

McDowell said: "When they arrived, she came and inspected them and said she couldn't wait to see them all plaited up for the show.

"Once she popped down to see them and fed them some carrots. She knew these were really special."

It’s fitting that the pair are doing their bit in the wake of the mourning period for the Queen.

Members of the public left thousands of tributes in Green Park and Hyde Park, which now require cleaning up. The two shire horses have the special job of transporting cartloads of the dying floral tributes.

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Staff and volunteers from the Royal Parks charity will put the tributes into carts, which Heath and Nobby will transport for nearly two miles, through Green Park, Wellington Arch, Hyde Park and on towards the royal compost heap – the Leaf Pen in Kensington Garden.

Heath and Nobby will be adorned with their working uniform, which consists of royal medals.

They regularly work in the Royal Parks, cutting grass and creating wild flower meadows.


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