Fact check: Image shows Welsh military mascot, not white ram to be sacrificed for King Charles III

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.

King Charles III and Camilla, Queen Consort meet Sheinkin IV, goat mascot for the Royal Welsh Third Battallion, at Cardiff Castle on September 16, 2022 in Cardiff, Wales.

Goat has rank, salary as regimental mascot

British outlets including the BBC, The Independent and ITV reported the goat was present at a proclamation ceremony for King Charles III at Cardiff Castle on Sept. 11.

The goat’s full name is Lance Corporal Shenkin IV, the regimental mascot of the 3rd Batallion The Royal Welsh.

The Royal Welsh Museum’s website said mascots have a regimental number and rank as well as a salary for their uniform, accommodations and food. The goat has been in the role since 2018, per the BBC.

And according to AFP Fact Check, that goat will not be sacrificed to mark the start of King Charles III’s reign.

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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.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: Image shows Welsh mascot, not sacrifice for King Charles