An equine statue standing majestic on Whitehall has gained a bale of straw to eat and some wood chippings to rest upon in a fairly recent annual Christmas tradition.

The best of London’s traditions are where something serious and solemn in a serious and solemn location gets an unofficial adornment.

So, for a few days, the statue of Prince George, Duke of Cambridge is modified ever so slightly by the local Household Cavalry.

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In a note on their Facebook page, they stated: “like most british regiments the soldiers have their own little traditions that bond them as a team. It happens either on Xmas day or New years day. It’s felt that that horse stands there for 365 days of the year and deserves a little comfort especially at xmas”

It’s quite nice that it’s the horse that gets the treat, and not the man sitting astride it.

…as a historical comment, the statue of the Duke sits outside the Old War Office — the formation of which in 1870 he strongly opposed, although The Times reported the location as “most appropriate” when the stature was unveiled by The King on the 15th June 1907.

His title of the Duke of Cambridge became extinct upon his death, until it was revived in 2011 for the current Prince William.

The statue itself was designed by Adrian Jones, who was also responsible for the Quadriga on top of the Wellington Arch by Hyde Park. The statue stands on a pedestal designed by John Belcher. The panels around the sides show the 17th Lancers and the Grenadier Guards.

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I wont comment on the naked man incident. I prefer the bale of straw.

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Article last updated: 25 December 2021 09:45

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2 comments
  1. Phil says:

    I’ve lived in London 25 years but never seen that before – well spotted and blogged Ian. A very interesting blog.

  2. Sue Rowe says:

    I hope they’re giving the horse hay, not straw. It’d be pretty thin pickings it is straw – which is used for bedding, not eating.

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