Royal Rocking Horses
Rocking horses have been a beloved toy for children for centuries. These classic toys have been a staple in nurseries and playrooms, providing hours of entertainment and imaginative play. With their sturdy wooden frames and soft, plush bodies, rocking horses have stood the test of time and continue to be a popular choice for parents and grandparents looking to gift a timeless toy to the little ones in their lives. From traditional designs to modern twists, rocking horses remain a cherished part of childhood memories for generations.
Our past Queen’s collection of rocking horses is a sight to behold. Housed in the Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace, the collection features a variety of beautifully crafted horses, each with its own unique history and story. Many of the horses were gifts to the Queen from foreign dignitaries, while others were commissioned by the Royal Family for special occasions. The collection includes horses made from a variety of materials, including wood, leather, and even papier-mâché. Each horse is meticulously maintained and cared for, ensuring that they remain in pristine condition for future generations to enjoy. The Queen’s love for these classic toys is a testament to their enduring appeal and timeless charm.
Twin brothers Marc & Tony from Stevenson Brothers in Bethersden are celebrating forty years of rocking horse making. With the goal of re-introducing the classic Dapple Grey horses seen in Victorian Nurseries around the world in a time when the first computer games were beginning to appear in the early eighties. Their timeless pieces are now collected worldwide by discerning families that are looking for a piece of history to place in their homes with children and grandchildren in mind.
Rocking horses were made to teach children how to ride and in many cases were not just a toy. We often say that most great equestrians learnt their early riding skills on a wooden steed. A number of our young rocking horse riders are now achieving wonderful success. Jessica Springsteen- who rides for the US show jumping team and having won a silver medal in the recent Olympic Games in Tokyo. William Fox-Pitt is another greatly successful eventer who rode an antique family rocking horse as a young boy.
The photograph of the Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret riding their rocking horse together in their Nursery in 1932 has been on the Stevenson Brothers wall from their early days and it inspired them to write to the late Queen in the year of her Golden Jubilee. “We were celebrating our twentieth year and our 5000th horse and in our collection, we have a Jubilee rocking horse from the Victorian era. It was an honour to make our first rocking horse for the Queen in 2002”. We mounted it on a pair of Coach Springs as we knew she would find it most unusual, giving a softer ride and an extended stride.
“We have made a number of horses since then celebrating the Diamond and the recent Platinum Jubilees. It was decided that we would make a replica of the last racehorse bred by the late Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, who had been successfully competed in his retirement by Katie Jerram, possibly the most famous RoR horse in the Showing World, the late Queen Elizabeth II’s Barber Shop. The is the first rocking horse sculpture and a welcome departure from our normal shaped horses. It’s always been an absolute privilege and honour spending time in Queen Elizabeth’s company at Windsor Castle and we will cherish those memories forever and are fortunate to have photographs of each occasion”.