Londoners and tourists were treated to the rousing and colourful sight of the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery and their gun carriages, as the Birthday Salute was performed by regular and reserve soldiers for The Queen on Monday, 22 April.
It was, in fact, The Queen’s 93rd birthday on the previous day, Sunday, 21 April, but as gun salutes are traditionally never carried out on a Sunday, it was on Easter Monday that 71 horses pulled six World War I 13-pounder field guns from the base at Wellington Barracks, past Buckingham Palace and up Constitution Hill on their way to Hyde Park. They then placed the guns into position in readiness for the salute at midday.
Following celebratory music performed by the Band of the Royal Artillery in the glorious spring weather, each of the six guns fired blank artillery rounds at 10-second intervals, until a total of 41 shots had been fired. The horses and riders then escorted the guns back to the Wellington Barracks in Birdcage Walk.
We bring you some of the highlights of the day in pictures…
1. Major General Matthew Sykes, The Princess Royal and Major Harry Wallace, the commanding officer of The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, inspect the The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery in Wellington Barracks
2. The Princess Royal is saluted by The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery as they leave Wellington Barracks prior to the gun salute in Hyde Park
3. Members of The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery and their horses get the World War I field guns into position
4. The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery take up their positions in Hyde Park
5. Standing to attention ahead of the gun salute
6. The guns are fired at 10-second intervals for 41 shots to complete the salute
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