Horseshoe from Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh welcomed at Oakham Castle

By Evie Payne

15th May 2024 | Local News

The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh unveiling their double horseshoe. Image credit: Nub News.
The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh unveiling their double horseshoe. Image credit: Nub News.

The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh visited Rutland for the first time on 14 May 2024.

Highlights of the visit included Rutland Showground, The Queen Elizabeth II Memorial Statue, The Duke of Edinburgh Memorial Garden and Oakham Castle, where Their Royal Highnesses unveiled a new horseshoe to add to the collection.

Oakham Castle is famous for its unusual collection of over 230 ornate ceremonial horseshoes donated by Peers of the Realm: Royalty and nobility such as Dukes, Marquis', Earls, Viscounts, Barons and Bishops. Read more here.

The Duke and Duchess also met invited individuals surrounded by past horseshoes. Image credit: Nub News.

The oldest surviving horseshoe on display was presented by Edward IV in 1470, after the battle at nearby Losecoat Field. The most recent horseshoes are those presented by the 6th Earl of Gainsborough at the Castle's re-opening, and HRH the Duchess of Cornwall's horseshoe, presented in 2014 - and now, the double horseshoe presented by the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh, Edward and Sophie.

At Oakham Castle, the oldest court in the country, The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh were asked to forfeit a symbolic horseshoe, an ancient right of the Lord of the Manor to demand of passing Peers of the Realm. 

The Duke and Duchess visited Rutland Showground and Growers Row the begin their visit. Image credit: Elli Dean Photography.

The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh arrived at Rutland Show Ground before moving to Oakham Castle, the oldest court in the country, which claims to be the finest surviving example of Norman domestic architecture in Europe.

The Duke and Duchess presented an unusual double horseshoe which in due course will join others displayed on the walls presented by past Monarchs and members of the Royal Family, including the late Sovereign, Queen Elizabeth II in 1967 and King Charles III (as Prince of Wales) in 2003 . This horseshoe was made by the Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers (REME) of which The Duchess of Edinburgh is Hon. Colonel in Chief.

The pair viewed the statue in what must have been an emotional moment for the Prince. Image credit: Nub News.

The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh are the first members of the Royal Family to view the recently unveiled statue of Queen Elizabeth II and three of her Corgis commissioned by the Lord-Lieutenant of Rutland, Dr. Sarah Furness, in response to the depth of loss felt throughout the county on The late Queen's death.

Their Royal Highnesses watched a short film about the statue's creative journey and met its sculptor Hywel Pratley who has connections to the local area. He is a member of the Royal Society of Sculptors, whose work in bronze is widely exhibited. 

The Duchess meeting Hywel Pratley, the creator of the statue. Image credit: Clarke PR and Media.

They then went to Rutland Water to take a private trip on the Rutland Belle, with food provided by The Olive Branch - a fitting end to an otherwise damp day in Rutland for the royal pair.

 View our gallery of images from the event here.

The Duke and Duchess finished their visit at Rutland Water with a trip and meal aboard the Rutland Belle. Image credit: Clarke PR and Media.


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