Last Thursday (11 April) passers-by in Knightsbridge, London were treated to an impressive spectacle as The Queen’s mounted bodyguard paraded in Hyde Park as part of the Major General’s Inspection ahead of a summer of pageantry.
Some 165 men, women and horses, including the Household Cavalry band with their drum horses, paraded in front of Major General Ben Bathurst, the General Officer Commanding the Household Division. This annual parade is a test of the regiment’s ability to conduct state ceremonial duties for the year.
Preparations for the parade were intense and involved several hundred man hours, with many of the soldiers up for most of the night before the parade, making final improvements to the mirror sheen of their silver cuirasses, Jack Boots, and grooming their horses. Excellence is hard won — a pair of Jack Boots can take more than 200 hours of polishing to bring up to parade standard.
The horses came back from grass in early February and have had to undergo their regime in order to return to ceremonial duties fit for Her Majesty The Queen.
Here, we bring you some of the moments captured on the day of the inspection, which was blessed with some of the very best spring weather…
1. Say cheese
2. Prior to the the Major Generals Inspection the Parade ground is swept
3. The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment line up inside Hyde Park Barracks
4. The Commanding Officer of The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment Lieutenant Colonel Paddy Williams inspects all his horses and soldiers
5. The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment in Hyde Park
6. The drum horses Mercury (grey) and Perseus (bay) from the Band of The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, who were also inspected
7. The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment give an eyes right to the Major General during the parade
8. An officer from The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment gives an eyes right to the Major General during the parade
9. Major General Ben Bathurst the General Officer Commanding the Household Division salutes the parade as they ride past in Hyde Park
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