Heritage

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Harry Have Both Had Run-ins with Cruachan, the Mischevious Shetland Pony

Corporal Cruachan IV is The Royal Regiment of Scotland's beloved mascot.
IMAGE GETTY IMAGES / ANDREW MILLIGAN
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Today, the Duke of York met up with a longtime friend—and sometimes nemesis—of the royal family: Corporal Cruachan IV, the Shetland pony. He seemed to get along fine with Cruachan, but not all of his relatives have not been so lucky.

Given his name, Cruachan IV is, unsurprisingly, the fourth Cruachan to serve as the regimental mascot of The Royal Regiment of Scotland, but the royal family's connection dates back to the very first.


Queen Elizabeth with Cruachan.

Princess Louise, Queen Victoria's daughter, gifted the pony to the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (the organization that would later become The Royal Regiment of Scotland) in 1929. Princess Louise must have thought well enough of Cruachan, if she were to give him as a present. But the Shetland pony's relationship with the royals would not remain so strong.

"The various Cruachans have been a little temperamental and stubborn at times," Rod Mackenzie, a curator the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Museum at Stirling Castle, told the Scotsman.

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It's true: Cruachans are known to have a mischievous side. There are photos of Cruachan II drinking beer, and Cruachan I had a habit of escaping his stable and kicking unlucky civilians. Just last year, Cruachan IV nibbled at Prince Harry's fingers as he and Meghan Markle tried to pet him.

Cruachan II managed to bite through Queen Elizabeth's glove during a parade, and the incident may have affected her relationship with subsequent Cruachans. In July of 2017, Cruachan IV made a good faith effort to get a bite out of the Queen's bouquet. She pulled it back, reportedly telling him to "Go away!" (On his Twitter, you can see his side of the story—he simply thought the Queen was giving him a treat.) Given the British monarch's much-documented love of horses, the Cruachans must have stepped in it to get on her bad side.

They met again in August 2018, and Cruachan IV took the opportunity to relieve himself in the Queen's presence. He did not defend himself on Twitter for this incident.

This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.

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