The men of the Canadian Royal 22nd Regiment who guard Quebec City’s Citadelle have a secret weapon. It’s about 3 feet tall, covered in fur and armed with golden horns. Able to subdue even the hardest of men, women, and children with its charms, this unique creature protects the fortress from foreign invaders. Meet Batisse the Royal Goat.
Don’t let his short stature and 4 legs fool you, Batisse is an important member of this French-Canadian infantry regiment that calls the Citadelle home. You’ll regularly find him inspecting troops during British-style Changing of the Guard Ceremonies that take place every day at 10 a.m. from the end of June to the beginning of September.
Batisse’s white fur and blue cape are easy to pick out from soldiers wearing traditional red tunics and black bearskin hats. The goat’s job entails other significant duties too, such as welcoming British Royalty like Queen Elizabeth the II and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
His history goes back to 1883 when the King of Iran gave Queen Victoria a prized billygoat from his personal collection. The line has been bred ever since, and in 1955 Queen Elizabeth II sent one to her Royal 22nd Regiment as a mascot. The current Batisse is 12th in the line, continuing the tradition of military service.
Visitors to Quebec City can take photos with Batisse the Royal Goat after these impressive 35-minute Citadelle guard-change ceremonies that overlook the majestic St. Lawrence River below. The fortress is also home to an interesting regiment museum full of old weapons and the unit’s history of battle. If you feel lucky, try making the soldiers outside the gate smile. I’m pretty certain it’s an impossible task! Learn more about the Citadelle here.