The Case of the Queen and the Flatulent Horse

HM The Queen is not amused. Reader's Digest image.

Hello there. We have so much doom and gloom on these pages, we thought perhaps it was time to throw in a bit of humour — at HM The Queen’s expense.

The Mirror newspaper reports:

The Queen is probably one of the last people on earth you can imagine breaking wind in public. Not only would it be mortifying to accidentally let it escape while meeting her subjects, but the whole world would soon get to know about it. Sometimes, it’s really not better out than in.

On I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here Australia, former royal butler Paul Burrell shared a story about a case of embarrassing flatulence which happened on a carriage ride.

According to Burrell, The Queen, Prince Philip and the Sultan of Bahrain were all in the same carriage. Setting the scene, he adds “Imagine the picture. I’m sat here, people are singing God Save The Queen, and the Queen and Prince Philip are next to me.”

“The Sultan of Bahrain had been enjoying polite small talk with his royal hosts when suddenly, a huge explosion of wind came from one of the horses in front. The party might have managed to gloss over it, except the smell was apparently horrendous and went straight through the carriage.

The intervening silence was almost as embarrassing as the odour hanging in the air.

“Do you think I should say something?” she asked Phillip who said, “Yes, do.”

So the Queen leaned forward and touched the Sultan’s knee and said, “I’m terribly sorry about that awful noise,” and sat back.

The Sultan leaned forward and said: “That’s quite alright, your majesty… I thought it was one of the horses!”

Well, yes.

The Queen awards retiring police horse Clyde at Royal Ascot

Clyde, Thames Valley Police Horse
Clyde, Thames Valley Police Horse, gets his commendation from HM The Queen at his last Royal Ascot. Clyde is set to retire in a few weeks' time.

Union Jack

As reported by THE BBC:

The Queen has awarded a 21-year-old Thames Valley Police horse with a Chief Constable’s commendation at Royal Ascot.

Clyde, a thoroughbred Clydesdale cross dark bay gelding, is the longest-serving operational police horse in England and Wales.

The horse has worked at Royal Ascot for the past 18 years.

Saturday, the final day of Royal Ascot 2011, saw Clyde’s last event before he is retired in the next few weeks.

Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police Sara Thornton was also present at the ceremony.

As well as protecting the royal carriage procession at Royal Ascot, Clyde was a lead horse for numerous state visits at Windsor, led the royal procession at Windsor for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, as well as policing football matches and environmental protests.


Clyde was bought by Thames Valley Police in January 1994 from Broadstone Stud in north Oxfordshire.

Sgt John Thurston, of the Thames Valley Police Mounted Section, said: “As this will be his final tour of duty, we felt it was an appropriate occasion to present him with a commendation.

“Despite having reached the age of 21, Clyde still believes he is four years old.

“This was proved in 2009 when the clerk to the course at Ascot gave permission for the police horses to canter up the course to the four-furlong mark after the final race on the last day of Royal Ascot.

“He managed to beat far younger horses and came a commendable third.

Mr Thurston said although Clyde was “still an excellent police horse, we owe it to Clyde to give him a well deserved retirement”.

He added: “This will be his last Ascot, with a view to retiring him to The Horse Trust in Speen, Buckinghamshire, in the next few weeks.”

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