As crowds lined the streets to pay their respects to The Queen on her final journey, what could have been more fitting than an equestrian guard of honour?
As Her Majesty’s coffin made its way from Balmoral to Edinburgh over the weekend, among those who came out to say goodbye were cavalcades of horses and riders, in tribute to one of the greatest equestrians of all.
Emma Cheape’s family welcomed horses, riders and people on foot, to their fields bordering the M90, along which The Queen’s coffin was driven yesterday (11 September).
“It was a moment that won’t be forgotten very quickly,” Emma told H&H.
“I put a post on Facebook on Saturday night saying if anyone local wanted to join me in the field, they’d be welcome, thinking maybe two or three people would come, and we ended up with 32 horses and about 40 people on foot. It was amazing.”
Emma said the group spanned generations; from the local Pony Club branch out in force to “us oldies”, with some who had hacked there and others who had travelled their horses 40 minutes to be part of the occasion.
“The horses were all standing in a line and when she was about five minutes away, we walked closer, and the horses held a beautiful line,” she said. “There were helicopters overhead, but not a horse moved; it was like they knew.
“There were tears, and it was a bit eerie; the road was quiet, the field went silent. Princess Anne and her husband were in the car behind and she pointed us out and they both waved. It was lovely.”
Emma added that she has been inundated with messages, from as far away as New Zealand, Australia and Canada.
“Someone messaged to say some people in Scotland want independence, but we showed how united we can be as a country,” she said. “We all came together for one cause, and stood and paid our respects.
“How many other people have survived for that many years, and still been working two days before they died? It was also paying our respects for what she’s given her life for, for what she’s done. It was a special day.”
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Credit: Getty images