Army goat with royal and rugby connections dies

Updated: 

A famous Army goat who appeared at rugby matches and met the Prince of Wales has died.

Lance Corporal Shenkin III, a Kashmiri from the Royal Herd at the Great Orme in Llandudno, was the Regimental Mascot of 3rd Battalion The Royal Welsh. He died on Tuesday aged seven.

He made regular appearances at rugby internationals with his handler, Goat Major Sergeant Mark Jackson, and also met the Prince of Wales.

Lance Corporal Shenkin III
Lance Corporal Shenkin III has died at the age of seven (Sgt Russ Nolan RLC/MoD/Crown Cop/PA)

A letter has been sent to the Queen officially informing her of Shenkin's death and asking permission for the regiment to select a new goat.

Goats from the Great Orme herd have been presented to the regiment since 1844 when Queen Victoria presented the Royal Welch Fusiliers with its first official royal goat.

He was selected for duty following the death of his predecessor, also called Shenkin, in 2009.

Prince Harry and the goat
Prince Harry also met the goat (Ian West/PA)

Sgt Jackson has been at Shenkin's side for the past five years. They have led officers and soldiers in freedom parades and the national rugby team on to the field at the Principality Stadium.

Shenkin will have a headstone commissioned outside Regimental Headquarters in Maindy Barracks, where flags have been at half-mast in tribute.

"He was a legend," said Sgt Jackson. "He wasn't just a Regimental goat, but part of my family as well. He loved a crowd and was a total poser."

Lance Corporal Shenkin III
Goat Major Sergeant Mark Jackson described Lance Corporal Shenkin III as a "total poser" (MoD/PA)

Lieutenant Colonel Nigel Crewe-Read, the commanding officer of the battalion, said: "Shenkin was the figurehead for the battalion and would lead us wherever we went. He was a symbol of the great traditions of The Royal Welsh.

The process of finding a successor from the Royal Herd will soon begin, and while that continues Llywelyn, the Regimental Mascot for 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh, will assume duties.