Scott Williamson will be at head of Queen's Funeral Procession
Williamson grew up at Rocanville, joined the RCMP, and now heads up the Musical Ride
September 18, 2022, 5:30 pm
Scott Williamson, who grew up at Rocanville, is one of four Canadians given the honor of leading the Queen's Funeral Procession Monday.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police say four of the force’s officers will be leading the funeral procession in London on Monday.
The officers are part of the RCMP musical ride.
Sgt. Maj. Scott Williamson, who serves as riding master for the RCMP, says the musical ride and the RCMP have had a “very special” and “quite personal” relationship with the queen.
The RCMP has provided horses to the Queen and the royal family since 1969, starting with the gift of a horse named Burmese to the Queen, who ride Burmese in Trooping the Color for 18 years. There is a statue of the Queen riding Burmese in front of the Saskatchewan Legislature.
The musical ride contingent will be at the front of the funeral procession.
The queen is due to lie in state at Westminster Hall in Westminister Palace, where Britain’s Parliament meets, until Monday morning. The funeral procession will carry her casket to her funeral at nearby Westminster Abbey.
Williamson says being a part of the procession is an honour.
“It’s incredibly humbling and honouring for us, as members of the force, to be here representing the organization, representing every Canadian that we know would love to be here for this historic moment,” Williamson said.
“It is very special, it’s not something we’re taking at all lightly. I can’t obviously speak for Her Majesty but she certainly did take a special liking to the Mounties and we, of course, take a very special liking to the Queen.
“We swore allegiance to Her Majesty the day we graduated from the RCMP Academy and I know every member of the force takes that oath very seriously.
“Obviously, (participating in this event is) incredibly humbling … for us as members of the force to be here, representing the organization, representing every Canadian that we know would also love to be here for this historic moment.
“We’re in what we would call a ‘no-fail mission’ … to represent the force and (the) great people of this country. There’s no room for error.”
Officers and horses taking part are Cst. Katy Loisel riding George; Cpl. Justine Rogawski riding Elizabeth; Williamson riding Darby; Supt. Kevin Fahey riding Sir John; and Cpl. Derek Quilley assisting the RCMP delegation.
The four horses being ridden by the RCMP officers were trained by the Mounties and gifted to the Royal Family. They are the latest in a long line of Canadian horses ridden by senior royals, including King Charles and Princess Anne, during Trooping the Color, the annual parade marking their mother’s official birthday.
Although these horses were gifts to the Queen, it is her children who are more often to be found astride them: Charles rides George during Trooping the Colour, while Princess Anne, who competed in the equestrian event at the 1976 Summer Olympics held in Montreal, rides Sir John.
This is one reason that Williamson expects the RCMP’s relationship with the royal household to continue under the reign of King Charles III.
“This past May, Prince Charles came to Canada and he visited the Musical Ride stables in Ottawa,” said Williamson.
“He went through the stables, inspecting the riders and the horses. He took the time to meet and speak with every single employee of the Musical Ride … and then took the time to go down and watch a performance of the Musical Ride.”