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When you know you are royalty, who needs to smile.

I can’t wait for the coronation this weekend.

It doesn’t matter whether you are pro or anti the monarchy, or something in between, it will

be one of the most spectacular public events of the last many decades.

There will be many horses involved, including the eight matched Windsor grey horses which

will pull their Majesties Gold State Coach as they return from Westminster Abbey to

Buckingham Palace.

These horses, and all those involved in the pageantry will have been specially trained. They

will not only be used to the task expected of them, but able to cope with the loud noises

and flashes of colour and flags that other equines might find frightening.

Our king’s father HRH Prince Philip was a keen enthusiast of driving horses as a sport. He

regularly competed at driving events with a team of four large bay horses.

But there is no driver for the Gold State Coach. It is managed by the four postillions, who

each ride one horse in each pair, assisted by walking grooms and footmen. Let’s hope that

the official vets on duty are not required in any capacity on the day.

The royalty of the pet world are the cats, of course.

There is no question that most felines consider themselves as reigning over all that they

survey. They maintain a staff of humans to see to their every need, but studiously ignore

them, except when some service is required, such as a chin rub or warm lap to occupy

instead of a cold throne.

I am thinking particularly of a cat called Miah, whose portrait I was trying to capture


A dog might have smiled for the camera, or at least pricked her ears at the sound of the

biscuit packet.

But Miah’s supercilious expression never changed. She looked my way, and saw nothing to

amuse her. She looked away again. In the end I had to admit that her face was not going to

express the love that I hoped she was feeling for me, after I saved her life. I will just have to

hope that deep down she has awarded me her seal of approval.

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