Abolish the Monarchy, But Keep This Goat

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Look at this beautiful, fashionable animal. I would go to war for him.

Apologies, Brits: The only royal bloodline I care about is that of the Kashmir goats that have been roaming the Scottish seaside since the 1800s.

After the death of Queen Elizabeth II, the world has debated the need for keeping the monarchy around. I am anti-monarchy. But I have a confession to make. I am smitten with Shenkin the royal goat.

This morning, I saw a photo of Shenkin leading the 3rd battalion of the Royal Welsh in a procession for the King’s proclamation at Cardiff Castle. Shenkin, it turns out, is the battalion’s official mascot—and carries the rank of lance corporal. He is also very beautiful, and very fashionable.

The royal goat tradition dates back to the Revolutionary War and the Battle of Bunker Hill (1775), when a wild goat purportedly led a group of Welsh soldiers from the battlefield. Yes, this irks the Bostonian in me. But we wound up securing our independence, the goat’s intervention notwithstanding. I can forgive the goat his indiscretion.

Now, the military goats are selected from a herd that lives in Llandudno, Wales, descended from a flock which was said to be a gift from the Shah of Persia to Queen Victoria. Goat selection is apparently an intensive process, requiring the devotion of a full-time Goat Major who trains the kid.

And Shenkin is quite the trainee, according to the Royal Welsh Museum:

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