13/03/2012 13:36 GMT

Duchess Of Cornwall Camilla Visits Horses Whilst Touring Stables Of The Kings Troop (PICTURES)

The Duchess of Cornwall produced a packet of Polos and fed the horses as she visited a British Army unit renowned for its equestrian skills.

Camilla, a keen rider, is patron of the British Equestrian Federation, and gave the horses the minty treat as she toured the stables of The King's Troop, Royal Horse Artillery, in Woolwich, south-east London.

The visit marked the formal opening of state-of-the art facilities for "The Troop", which was based until last month in St John's Wood, north-west London.

The mounted unit was created in 1947 by George VI and all its soldiers are skilled equestrians trained to drive a team of six horses pulling a state saluting gun.

Their duties include firing of royal salutes and providing a gun carriage and team of black horses for state and military funerals. The Troop plays a key role in other ceremonial occasions such as state visits, Remembrance Sunday and Trooping the Colour.

Its soldiers are also deployed on operations in support of British Army units and there are currently gunners in Afghanistan from the unit.

Camilla unveiled a plaque to commemorate a change of name of the new barracks from Napier Lines to King George VI Lines. She also presented service medals to four soldiers from The Troop who have recently completed tours of Afghanistan.

Commanding officer Major Mark Edward said: "The new barracks offer the most up-to-date facilities available to horses and soldiers, whilst also offering improvements to the horses' welfare with a larger and better-equipped forge and veterinary clinic, and a wide range of riding services to school both horses and soldiers."