The claim: Photo shows white ram to be sacrificed for King Charles III’s declaration
The shift from the reign of the late Queen Elizabeth II to that of King Charles III has been filled with British pomp and circumstance, but some social media users claimed ceremonies for the new monarch would include a gruesome ritual.
“This is the Britiish (sic) carrying a white ram – intended for sacrifice – for the crowning and declaration of Prince Charles as King of England,” reads the caption of an image posted to Facebook on Sept. 14 that was shared more than 300 times in five days. “This is their ancient tradition and culture.”
But the animal is actually a regimental goat that serves as a mascot for a Welsh infantry regiment that is part of the British Army.
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USA TODAY reached out to users who shared the claim for comment.
Goat has rank, salary as regimental mascot
The goat’s full name is Lance Corporal Shenkin IV, the regimental mascot of the 3rd Batallion The Royal Welsh.
And according to AFP Fact Check, that goat will not be sacrificed to mark the start of King Charles III’s reign.
Capt. Anthony Kironde-Strain of the 3rd Batallion The Royal Welsh told the outlet its goats are “treated as valued members of the battalions from the day they are selected until the day they pass away.”
Neither The Royal Welsh nor The Royal Welsh Museum returned USA TODAY’s request for comment on the claim.
The National Army Museum’s website said the association between The Royal Welsh and goats dates back to a purported incident during the American Revolutionary War, when a wild goat led Welsh soldiers from the battlefield during the 1775 Battle of Bunker Hill.
Fact Check Hub also debunked the claim.
Our rating: False
Based on our research, we rate FALSE the claim that a photo shows a white ram to be sacrificed for King Charles III’s crowning and declaration. The image shows a regimental goat that serves as a mascot for a Welsh infantry regiment that is part of the British Army.
Our fact-check sources:
National Army Museum, accessed Sept. 24, 'Shenkin II', the regimental goat of the 3rd Battalion The Royal Welsh
AFP Fact Check, Sept. 20, Photo shows Welsh battalion’s mascot goat, not a ‘ram’ sacrificed for King Charles III
BBC, Sept. 16, King Charles III in Cardiff for first Wales visit as monarch
Fact Check Hub, Sept. 16, Crowning King of England: Viral white goat NOT for sacrifice
The Independent via YouTube, Sept. 11, Royal Welsh led by goat as they march through Cardiff for proclamation of the King
Royal Welsh Museum, Feb. 22, A Brief History of The Regimental Mascot
BBC, March 7, 2018, Royal Welsh finally captures new regimental goat Shenkin IV
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: Image shows Welsh mascot, not sacrifice for King Charles