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One Nagging Glitch In An Otherwise Royal Wedding Day

Did anyone catch the one glitch, at least the most obvious to television viewers?

I didn’t catch it the first time I watched…..

Caught it the second time I fast forwarded through…..

Can’t figure it out yet?

Go back and watch the tape of Kate and William leaving the church in the horse drawn carriage accompanied by the house cavalry. There is a shot looking forward from the perspective of behind the carriage and you can see a black horse running riderless ahead of William and Kate towards the left. Apparently very early in the parade, the horse dumped its rider. In a subsequent shot, the horse has been caught by someone on the side of the road (on the left side of the screen) but it is clearly freaking out as Kate and William’s carriage passes. The final shot of the horse is when the carriage is passing an obelisk (sorry, don’t know my way around London) and behind the carriage you can see the mounted guards bunching together apparently attempting to block this runaway horse (and who has apparently escaped from it’s captor) but the creature squeezes through and you can see him gallop off to the right of the screen just behind the newlywed’s carriage.

Daily Telegraph is reporting it: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/royal-wedding/8483481/Royal-wedding-procession-rider-thrown-from-horse.html

Horses are unpredictable creatures but the hoopla of the parade route was not unexpected to the humans in charge of the horses and a properly desensitized horse would not have freaked out like that. And I imagine the dumped rider is mortified.


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • PhDeath April 29, 2011, 10:18 am

    You just never know with horses – there are no guarantees.

    A horse at a barn where I used to train was the epitome of “bombproof.” I trusted him to the ends of the earth and had seen him deliver years of steady, dependable service through unexpected thunder, gunfire, blowing garbage bags, swarms of bees (really!), panic attacks in fellow horses – the whole gamut.

    Then, at the age of 24, he was an entrant in a costume class at a Halloween “fun” show. He was in his standard position when not working (i.e., half-asleep) when a pony in a witch hat approached the ring. He snorted, leaped backward, and, head and tail in the air, dashed the half-mile back to the barn with his young rider in terrified tow.

    I certainly considered him desensitized and up to the task of negotiating scary situations – he’d demonstrated those qualities consistently in the past. With horses…one just never knows!

  • Elizabeth April 29, 2011, 10:24 am

    Seriously, it is a huge affair. I assume they don’t hire just anyone in any aspect of the planning, so someone picked a bad day to be off their game. Oh well, it was still lovely.

  • LovleAnjel April 29, 2011, 10:34 am

    No doubt the horse’s handler will not be asked to participate in future events.

  • Summer April 29, 2011, 10:36 am

    The Queen snubbed Camilla too .

  • Mom2PBJ April 29, 2011, 10:57 am

    I saw it during the live broadcast. Almost missed it but I did see it.

  • Noel April 29, 2011, 11:12 am

    I thought I saw a riderless horse! Thanks for the validation.

  • QueenofAllThings April 29, 2011, 11:44 am

    The Queen DID snub Camilla. I think, at the same time, Philip and Charles failed to greet each other – but that could just be wedding day confusion….

  • Alex April 29, 2011, 11:46 am

    I suspect that the horse was properly desensitized, as they have been practicing this for 22 weeks. My guess is that something totally unexpected happened to cause this.

    I too have seen ‘bomb-proof’ horses freak out for something unpredictable. Horses I thought were unflappable and well-trained to stand their ground. Sometimes, its something that can’t be helped.

  • ferretrick April 29, 2011, 11:54 am

    Hey, even for the Royal Family, you aren’t married until something goes wrong.

  • AS April 29, 2011, 11:54 am

    Haha, horses again. I have never trained horses, but hearing from all of you, it does sound that horses are quite unpredictable. If you have a choice, it is possibly better to keep away from them. Unfortunately for the above trainer, of all the days, the horse chose the Royal wedding to freak off!

    BTW, on a slightly different note, I wanted to discuss something on this forum. I found that the couple has named 26 charities, and requested wedding guests to donate there in lieu of gifts. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/apr/28/royal-wedding-gift-fund-charities

    I learnt from this site that registering in charities for weddings and making it known is a big NO-NO (or did I get is wrong?). So, did the royal couple make a blunder by registering in charities, and make it known to people? I mean, I think it is amazing that they want to donate to charities. In fact, I had a huge respect for Princess Diana for all her charitable causes, and it is amazing to see her son and DIL carry on the tradition. I think it is wonderful that the charities gain publicity, and the much needed money to run it. A lot of guests and maybe members of public would like to give something to the couple too, they are probably not exactly “soliciting” gifts, as would have seen in the case of a “common man”. I don’t think they really can run away from the multi-million pound wedding anyways. So, I want to believe that they did not commit any faux pas.

    I’d also like to know if there is any polite way for we people to register in charities, or will it sound as if we are being greedy by asking people to donate in our names? I apologise in advance if I got the “no charity registry” thing wrong. I apologise for the distraction.

  • ashley April 29, 2011, 12:39 pm

    Yes horses can be very unpredictable, they can be trained for years but when it gets right down to it theyre still wild animals with wild instincts. I can hardly place any blame on the rider here and at least no one got hurt and it still turned out to be a lovely ceremony.

  • Proboscidea April 29, 2011, 12:43 pm

    “However, he could not hold on and the horse broke free again, cantering down the full length of Whitehall, past the royal carriage before careering into Horseguards.”

    Streaking: a time-honored English tradition.

  • Claire April 29, 2011, 12:51 pm

    they aren’t “hired” riders, they were a serving regiment of horse guards, part of the BritishArmy, and serve the Queen and guard Buckingham Palace, the Tower etc. Very very highly trained riders and horses, this one was moving quickly and lost its footing. Could not have been predicted or prevented (and had been rehearsed many many times!)

    I watched the entire wedding and I am extremely proud to be British today. Princess Catherine is a very classy young woman who will carry her role with dignity and charm – and perfect etiquette.

  • nicolecj April 29, 2011, 1:42 pm

    It is not true that a properly desensatized horse will not react in the wrong situation. These horses are all at their prime, so they are not withered old nags that just don’t care. From what i saw the horses were well controlled and only one issue out of all of them. The fact that the issue was not allowed to affect the rest of the horses, shows admirable control. The horse may have been having a bad day. I work in equine assisted therapy, and a horse that is used regularly for work with children was in a bad mood one day and acted up in a way I had never seen before. It turns out she was going into heat, but she was just being jumpy. Usually you can just choose a different horse and allow that horse to rest, but they did not have a choice. The show must go on. I commend them for keeping all the rest of the animals under control in such circumstances.

  • Butterfly April 29, 2011, 1:55 pm

    I’d honestly be worried if the whole thing was carried off without a single hitch, but I’m superstitious like that.

  • M. April 29, 2011, 1:59 pm

    Ha! Nagging glitch. I see what you did there.

  • Geekgirl April 29, 2011, 2:23 pm

    It’s a horse of the Household Cavalry, which means it (and it’s rider) are on parade everyday. They’ve been rehearsing for months, and they are used to standing stock still for hours whilst tourists flash cameras in their faces and stroke them, and to marching in parades. It also means both it and it’s rider are serving members of the British Armed Forces. Believe me, a horse can’t get more desensitised to parades than by being in the Household Cavalry, and a rider can’t get more skilled at riding in parades than by being a Household Guard.

    The obelisk is the Cenotaph, and if the horse went galloped off just there it was returning to its stables, which are situated down that road. From what I can see, it isn’t galloping madly, it’s going back home (as they are trained to do).

    Sometimes horses just don’t behave.

    I also didn’t see the Queen snub Camilla. I saw them smilingly exchange pleasant greetings.

    I was watching from Hyde Park, and I am bursting with pride for my Royal Family and everyone who took part. Perfect day for us. We have a lovely new Princess (Strictly speaking, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge) , had a lovely party, and some amazing memories of the day.

  • Elizabeth April 29, 2011, 2:33 pm

    “Princess Catherine is a very classy young woman who will carry her role with dignity and charm – and perfect etiquette.”

    Including not calling herself Princess Catherine. Her title is the Duchess of Cambridge.

  • Jamie April 29, 2011, 2:53 pm

    I -thought- I saw a riderless horse skedaddling around on the left side of the block of horses!

    I’d say if that’s the biggest problem they had, I’d consider it a major success. Kate said William’s names properly, and no trains were smooshed, everything was wonderful!

    I agree the rider is probably embarrassed, but I think I’d rather be embarrassed about something like that that is totally understandable rather than like the one guard who was removed from the security detail for ranting on Facebook about how Kate snubbed him somehow. Oy. At least it was just a footing mistake being on the outside of a curve and having to move faster rather than something else. And I’m glad the guy wasn’t hurt!

    I think it’s sort of funny though that the first part of that article mentions that Kate is allergic to animals, and the way it’s worded makes it sound like she was alarmed that the horse was running free because she’s allergic to animals. ;P

    One of my favorite thing about visiting London was getting to visit the inside of the Royal Mews and seeing the carriages, cars, and horses. They were so well cared for and you can tell everyone cares about the job. I think it must be annoying though to be one of the Horse Guards outside the Horse Guards … place… and have tourists come right up and touch the horses and get right in their faces to take pictures, despite there being signs that say “these horses may bite!” It’s not like they’re stuffed horses… -_-

    I actually have a picture — of one of the Horse Guards, and you can see the lady actually touching the horse’s reins! @_@ And then of course one of the Greys from the Mews — so adorable and attentive. 😀

    Loved it all.

  • veronica April 29, 2011, 2:54 pm

    I saw it on CNN and went back to BBC to see it again. Yep. SOMEONE is in big trouble! Poor horse. All the horses were a bit spooked by the insanity of the crowd. Also when the Queen entered the Abbey a trumpet heralding her hit a VERY obvious sour note. I imagine HE’s in as much trouble as the rider.

  • Shayna April 29, 2011, 3:29 pm

    Actually, Elizabeth, her title is Her Royal Highness Princess William Arthur Phillip Louis, Duchess of Cambridge, Countess of Strathearn, Baroness Carrickfergus. She is a princess, however, she is not Princess Catherine. You are right on that point. Then again, it wasn’t really proper to call Diana, Princess Diana either, but it seemed to just stick. I’m sure that the public will refer to her as Princess Catherine and that will probably stick, too.

    Being Canadian, I’m very happy with the events of the day. I’m proud to still be part of the Commonwealth, and I love the Canadian Royal Family.

  • Kelly April 29, 2011, 9:04 pm

    There really is no such thing as a “desensitized” horse. Even a supposedly bombproof horse can be set off by who knows what, and in a crowd that large and noisy, I’m surprised only the one horse freaked.

  • fmnostaticatall April 29, 2011, 10:36 pm

    I was watching the “horsey” part of the procession (my favorite part!) with the carriages tonight on DVR when I saw an obvious black horse running out of formation. “What????????” (I think of Craig Ferguson’s reaction here.) I hit rewind and slow mo… and busted out laughing. The saddle was empty, meaning someone’s a$$ was suddenly in a sling! On the Today Show cameras, it was just a glancing shot, but I’m sure someone has some video that will hit YouTube soon. Very cool to read the details, but I’m quite sure Catherine’s concern had more to do with the -Ooooops, there goes my perfect wedding- than any allergies.
    The Wedding was certainly an exercise in military precision, til one military man got dumped after the altar! :0

  • SpotsRule April 29, 2011, 11:02 pm

    The Horse Guard is no longer comprised of “highly trained riders”. Any service person can apply to be a part of the Horse Guard, and 90% of them have no previous equestrian experience. They get a meager two years of training, which, as any horseman will tell you, if nothing. If you watched the procession, you would see that most of the Horse Guards were very weak riders, with poor seats and hands, and many were having difficulty. It certainly wasn’t the horse’s fault that one of the Horse Guards was thrown; it was simply due to the inexperience of the rider. England no longer has a real cavalry, sadly.

    • admin April 30, 2011, 9:29 am


      I watched a BBC series a year or so ago about the Queen’s horses which included the training to be a Horse Guard. As you correctly state, most of the riders are NOT experienced riders. Add in the mix of hoopla, flags waving, people screaming, and a rider who has to control his horse one handed while he has a sword unsheathed in the other and one can see how an inexperienced rider would be thrown. There was a lot of head tossing by the horses which is an indication that their riders were more heavy handed on the bit than usual.

  • enjoli April 30, 2011, 12:07 am

    I watched the wedding with a group of girlfriends – and I was the only one who spotted it. And the didn’t believe me when I told them about it. At least now I know I wasn’t seeing things, and I am vindicated! lol

  • Enna April 30, 2011, 3:26 am

    (Admin – I dont know if my comment got through – if this a duplicate just delate it)

    It wasn’t like the man who was riding the horse had done anything negliant – he lost his footing the horse was a bit scared and the rest is history: it would be scary to watch but the horse was still caught without any injury to humans or horses. There was space for the horse to run around – it wasn’t like it got loose in the crowds and started kicking people because it felt trapped. Every horse there was highly trained and so were all the riders: heance this was the only isolated incident and even though some of the other horses were worried they didn’t spook or throw their riders.

    A royal wedding has horses in it – it’s part of the traditional/hisotrical armed forces/miliatry links with the royal family: been like that for 100’s of years. The chances of this were small despite the number of horses. The main thing is no one was hurt, human or horse. I don’t think this man who fell off will be banned form future events – it wasn’t like he did something wrong. If anything they might take this incident and see what they can do to stop it/reduce the chances of it happening in the future by developing a trainging technique.

    Compared to the recent story “Nags at the Wedding” this was handled far better – the horse wasn’t kicked in the nitherreigions nor did it try to mate with any of the other horses.

  • Enna April 30, 2011, 3:29 am

    P.S the picture showing the lady touching the horses’s regins is dangerous – but it didn’t spook the horse: maybe it saw her and had been well trained not to react. The rider didn’t look too impressed!

  • Cat April 30, 2011, 9:07 am

    I should have let him ride my mini horse, Merlin. Horses are supposed to be frightened of dark, enclosed places. Not Merlin. The stable’s tack room was an inner room with a burned out light, but the stable owner knew where her tack was and expected to navigate the room safely and would have -if Merlin had not gone in earlier and then tripped her. I was having some large pine trees uprooted. I left Merlin loose because horses are afraid of large, noisy machines and I wanted him to be able to run. The operator had to ask me to tie Merlin up before he backed over him . Merlin was going up to the machine and standing directly behind it to watch what was going on.

  • Claire April 30, 2011, 1:09 pm


    Indeed, I was tired when I wrote that (although have not breached etiquette in making a mistake, I feel!) Actually she may be referred to as Her Royal Highness Princess William of Wales, as well as Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge. And of course she will be HRH Princess Catherine of Wales once the current Prince of Wales ascends the throne.

  • Barney Girl April 30, 2011, 1:22 pm

    @Spots Rule. Britain doesn’t really need a ‘real cavalry’ as there aren’t that many other armies against which a cavalry charge would be very sensible. The Household Cavalry may have a ceremonial role, but they’re a fighting regiment and use armoured vehicles.

  • walden April 30, 2011, 3:15 pm

    I think maybe the horse got a peek at those York sisters’ hats….

  • Typo Tat May 1, 2011, 4:36 am

    I found the bridesmaid’s white dress far stranger than the horse thing.

  • HollandaUK May 1, 2011, 4:52 am

    Walden, your comment caused me to laugh and snort out coffee through my nose. Attractive.

  • Abi May 1, 2011, 8:39 am

    My uncle used to be a member of the cavalry and was thrown off his horse during a procession in front of the Queen… Luckily he can laugh about it now, but you know what they say about children and animals on special occasions, you have to be prepared for anything!

  • PAM May 1, 2011, 12:58 pm

    Did I imagine it, or did Prince Philip stumble into the Scottish State coach when the Queen allowed him to go in first? The carriage leaned towards him when he put his foot on the step, he stepped down and then when he tried it again he seemed to slump forward. At that split second, the camera moved away. Did anybody else notice?

  • Jade May 1, 2011, 8:33 pm

    I blame the confetti cannons, they would have spooked any horse…

  • Sarah May 2, 2011, 6:37 am

    Typo Tat – It seems to be the royal family’s tradition for bridesmaids to wear white. I think Diana and the Queen both had bridesmaids in white, possibly the Queen Mother as well. I’m not sure why they do this, although I know that in the Olden Days attendants dressed like the bride and groom to confuse evil spirits or those wishing to curse the couple. I thought it looked quite nice actually, but I don’t know that I’d choose white for my bridesmaids considering when I first spotted Pippa in her white dress I thought it must be Kate.

  • Enna May 2, 2011, 10:23 am

    I don’t think the Queen serioulsy snubbed Camilia: more of a senior moment – the Queen is in her mid 80s and Prince Philip is 90: despite bing Queen and Prince going to a grandchild’s wedding is enough to cause an eldery couple some confusion, let alone the emotions and nerves. At least neither of them fell asleep! An example of their age is how Prince Philip did stumble when he went into the carraige – but that could happen to anyone.

    Personally I don’t think there is anything wrong with the bridesmaids wearing white – I think it worked quite well: there were no “copy cat” wedding dresses. Thought their dresses and the uniforms Prince Harry and the pageboys were wearing complemented each other quite nicely and didn’t clash. I felt sorry for the little bridesmaid who had her hands over her ears when they were on the balcony – the noise must have been a bit scary for her and the way Kate spoke to her I thought was good to make her feel safe.

    Horses ARE part of tradition in royal weddings/cornoations/funnerals/parades etc: the chances of a rider falling off a horse was slim but not beyond the realms of impossibility. It was an accident – whether the horse slipped and the man’s foot slipped out the striup at the wrong point: maybe next time they will put more sand down in that spot next time to stop any horses slipping.

    A question for Admin: how expiernced does a rider have to be to be considered experinced? I don’t think they would put a complete novice or beginniner on a horse. As for the head tossing, it might not just be the riders being strict – could be the crowds. One thing that has changed with Royal Weddings in the number of well wishers – the crowds are getting bigger. It’s not just noise and the sight of people but smells to that could cause some horses confusion or unrest.

  • kelly May 2, 2011, 11:10 am

    In Britain bridesmaids traditionally tend to be children, and they nearly always wear white. Adult bridesmaids, normally wear different colours, but white is not unknown, and is in fact a big trend at the moment.

    And as for the horses, if one uses animals in a parade then this sort of thing happens. It is to be expected, and was only in the news as a bit of light heartedness. The cavalry are not inexperienced riders when taken on, and are certainly trained after they have joined, and also spent months training for this. The crowds do make a difference, and that is impossible to practice. But the crowds were not as big as hoped (I live in central Westminster, and it was thought we would be packed with tourists, but there were no more than usual-although obviously at the time of the wedding there was a bigger concentration by the Abbey and Mall than normal), and police horses do not seem to have this problem even thought they are put into much more stressful situations directly among large crowds. Recently we had a protest of half a millon people, and a break away group caused some problems, and police on horseback were used, and despite protestors being right next to them I do not recall seeing them spooked.

  • Jessy May 2, 2011, 12:01 pm


    The carriage that the Queen and Prince Philip used had extremely soft suspension – hence when he tried to get in at first the whole thing tilted so majorly. The stumble was most probably him placing his foot down and the whole carriage having a lot more give than he thougth it would.

  • ladycrim May 2, 2011, 12:46 pm

    Given that the “riderless horse” is standard in funeral processions, is it weird of me to think that the horse was the spirit of Diana wanting to wish the best to her son and his bride?

  • PrincessSimmi May 2, 2011, 9:53 pm

    @ Walden – HAH!

  • Christine McSweeney May 5, 2011, 2:41 pm

    I did see the riderless horse, and was surprised that non of the journalists commentating on the procession said anything. It would appear that it went unnoticed by many people viewing the Royal Wedding procession. I was concerned at the time, that noone appeared to be trying to catch the horse. It is odd, that there hasn’t been media coverage or comment of this incident. I decided to Google it, to see if I was the only person who noticed. It must have been very frightening and embarrassing for the rider, to have their horse escape. It had the potential to be a very dangerous situation, but fortunately that appears to have been avoided. Nonetheless the Wedding appears to have gone without further incident.

  • Paul December 26, 2011, 4:17 pm

    People!!! WOW arent we all the proffesionals!!! Firstly these horses trianed from foals to do this job, in rehersals they are “bagged” ie off duty soldiers line the road shouting waving bags etc etc to get them used to the crowds they will encounter. IF you watch the various video clips on youtube, you will see the rear right horse actually ends up on the ground itself, and as it stnads and runs off the riders foot/leg is caught in the stirrup and he is dragged away, before the stirup leather is released. He does VERY well to regain his composure and stnad at the side of the road and salute the royal couple as they pass. he will, I am sure, ride in similar roles again, being unseated from a horse befalls the best of riders.
    Im amazed at how cruel many of you are in your remarks to this individual. May I remind you he is an active serviceman man, one day on ceremonial duty, the next in Afghanistan, the next maybe assisting civil authorities in time of need!!! Give the guy a break people!!!!