Pembrokeshire played an important role in the Queen’s funeral today as a local shire horse led the procession of drum horses from Westminster Abbey.

Major Apollo was the second horse from the Dyfed Shire Horse Farm in Eglwyswrw to join the Queen’s Household Cavalry.

He followed Celt Mercury Drumhorse and after him the farm’s Willa Rose was the first ever mare to be selected for the regiment.

Major Apollo, or Ed as he was known on the farm, was selected as the newest member of the Queen’s Household Cavalry back in 2019.

The farm bought Ed as a yearling in 2016.

He was a great favourite with visitors and had his first brush with royalty back in 2018 when he pulled a cart carrying the Duchess of Cornwall around the farm, not flinching when the duchess took the reins.

On his selection for the household cavalry the farm’s Mark Cole said: “Ed is the most calm, laid back and relaxed of the gentle giant breed,. We know that he will go on to do great things in London.”


And today, Apollo, as he was named by the Queen, went on to do exactly that, leading the draped drum horses from Westminster Abbey towards Hyde Park Corner.

Apollo only made his debut with the Queen’s Household Cavalry at the first Royal celebrations to be held for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee weekend back in May.

As well as making his debut he was also given his official name of Major Apollo from the Queen.

Her majesty, well-known for her affinity with horses, also named a foal born at the farm during lockdown, choosing the name Guinevere for the foal, which was born on her birthday.

The farm has also been visited by King Charles III and the Queen Consort, who famously took the reins of the cart that Ed/ Apollo was pulling and drove like a pro.

The Dyfed Shire Horse Farm has been shut since Queen Elizabeth died, saying it will reopen after the funeral.

Today the Murphy family who run the farm said they watched the funeral procession ‘with particular pride’ as Apollo played his part in this historic day.

Apollo was the lead horse with the draped drums in the procession from Westminster Abbey towards Hyde Park Corner.

The nine-year-old horse stands at over 17 hands (1.73 metres) tall and weighs in at nearly 800 kilograms.

Lance Corporal Diggle, from Yorkshire, rode Apollo with reins attached to his feet as his hands were holding solid silver drums.

“He’s a big lad, gentle giant, but he does have his quirks – he can be naughty like most horses but he is lovely on the whole,” he said.

“He is really gentle, he is the most placid horse, and that’s why he is on today, because he is so well behaved."

Drum Horses of the Household Cavalry carry the rank of major and as such are senior to all other animals of rank in the army.