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British Royals

The Princess Royal visits Household Cavalry after incident which saw frightened horses loose in London

The Princess Royal has visited the Household Cavalry at their barracks in Knightsbridge after soldiers and horses incurred injuries in an incident which saw several animals bolting through London.

The horses were spooked by building noise and broke free on April 24th. Several soldiers were hurt.

Princess Anne, who is Colonel of The Blues and Royals, visited the London barracks the day after the incident.

The Army has thanked all those who tried to help and who have sent kind messages. All the military personnel injured after escaped Household Cavalry horses caused panic in the streets of central London are expected to make full recoveries.

A group of six soldiers and seven horses were in Belgravia for an extended exercise when the problems began. The animals were spooked by nearby building works. As a result, four riders were thrown from their horses and five horses got loose. It wasn’t just the people that were injured, horses ran into vehicles down the busy streets. Various social media pictures and videos show the blood-stained chest of one white horse.

The London Ambulance Service was called to three different locations and treated four people along Buckingham Palace Road, the junction of Chancery Lane and Fleet Street, and Belgrave Square within a 10-minute span. The army has since confirmed all horses have been recovered while a number of them, along with personnel are receiving medical care.

In an update, the Army said that all soldiers are expected to recover fully and return to duties. Of the seven horses who were spooked, five tried to bolt and four were injured. Two of those had to be operated on and one is in an equine hospital. It is expected the horses who haven’t undergone surgery will return to duty soon.

A 48-year-old construction worker Bashir Aden recalled what he saw in an interview with The Independent: “The man hit the floor hard, he was screaming in pain. You could see blood all over the parked car.

“The horses come down this route every day, but today the horse looked stressed or panicked. I saw the horse run away after it hit a bus. People were screaming and running all over.”

Commanding officer of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment Lieutenant Colonel Matt Woodward issued a statement on X following the event, saying about 150 horses are exercised on roads and in parks every day and partly, it’s to help desensitise them to city noise.

“This morning, however, a small group of horses were spooked by some construction works on a quiet side road in Belgravia where building materials were dropped from height right next to them. The ensuing shock caused all horses to bolt and unseated some riders. Thankfully, considering the frequency of exercise and numbers of horses involved, this type of incident is extremely rare, we continue to strive to minimise the risk of this recurring. As ever we are grateful for due consideration given by the members of the public to not making loud noises around our horses.”

About author

My name is Sydney Zatz and I am a University of Iowa graduate. I graduated with a degree in journalism and sports studies, and a minor in sport and recreation management. A highlight of my college career was getting the chance to study abroad in London and experiencing royal history firsthand. I have a passion for royals, royal history, and journalism, which led me to want to write for Royal Central.