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Prince Harry, giddy after the birth of his son, thanks a Canadian horse

Prince Harry announces the birth of his son Monday, with Sir John, a gift to the Queen by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, in the background.
Prince Harry announces the birth of his son Monday, with Sir John, a gift to the Queen by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, in the background. - Screengrab/The Independent

A Canadian horse was the backdrop to Prince Harry's announcement that he and Meghan Markle now had a new, healthy baby boy

With the baby boy and mother healthy and safe, and the post-birth press conference wrapping up, Prince Harry proceeded to the next logical step: thanking some horses.

Harry, flushed with joy after the birth, addressed reporters at Windsor Castle, saying “I haven’t been in many births. This is definitely my first birth. But it was amazing, absolutely incredible.”

“I’m so incredibly proud of my wife,” Harry continued. “As every father and parent would ever say, your baby is absolutely amazing. But this little thing is absolutely to die for. So I’m just over the moon. Thank you very much guys.”

And as he turned away from thanking the members of the press, he looked behind him and said, with a chuckle, “Thanks, guys,” to the two black horses standing in their stalls.

One of those horses, it turns out, is a gift to the Queen given by none other than the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

“Sir John” was presented to the Queen by then RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson during a 2016 visit to the United Kingdom, when the RCMP’s Musical Ride unit performed as part of the festivities for the Queen’s 90th birthday.

The name “Sir John” was bestowed on the horse by the Queen herself, who was honouring Sir John A. MacDonald. The horse was the fifth that the RCMP had given to the Queen over the decades of her rule. At the time of the gift, the horse was eight years old, making it around 11 now.

The Queen is well-known for her passion for horses, and for 18 years the Queen rode another RCMP horse, Burmese, during the annual Trooping the Colour event. When Burmese died, the Queen stopped riding horses during the event, preferring a carriage.

At the time the RCMP gifted her Sir John in 2016, she presented the organization with a carved rocking horse of Burmese in return.

Beyond the levity of the moment, the appearance of Sir John and another horse, George, behind Prince Harry during the press conference led immediately to speculation that it was a coded message about the possible name of the baby boy.

However, top choices are still more traditional picks, with Arthur, Alexander, Albert and James leading the pack.

Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2019

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1 being least likely, and 10 being most likely

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