The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment has passed its “searing quality control” annual inspection ahead of The Queen’s birthday parade (12 June).
The Major General’s annual inspection is the “ultimate test” for the ceremonial unit, which they must pass in order to participate in state ceremonial duties.
The rigorous inspection of horsemanship, turnout and state ceremonial uniform was conducted by Major General Chris Ghika, the general officer commanding London District and commanding officer of the Household Division.
“The iconic image of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment escorting the sovereign represents the best of British pageantry to the world so there was no room for compromise; nothing short of excellence would do,” said a Household Cavalry spokesman.
“With the eyes of the world constantly on them, a searing annual quality control check is a challenging but welcome validation for these military perfectionists.
“Troopers had prepared for weeks to perfect their skills, poise and appearance; hours of polishing and minute attention to detail had been invested in ensuring horses, swords and breastplates dazzled as their mirror surfaces reflected the light.”
Around 170 horses and soldiers from Knightsbridge Barracks headed to the “football pitch” area of Hyde Park to form up, ready for inspection, yesterday (3 June). They were accompanied by the mounted band of the Household Cavalry, with their “magnificent” drum horses.
The Maj Gen and his horse, Atticus, rode through the ranks, checking every trooper and cavalry horse, before taking his position at the inspection site.
The regiment then filed past him in walk and trot, to replicate The Queen’s birthday parade. They also demonstrated a “captain’s escort” (without standard) as a further demonstration of the regiment’s capabilities and skills.
Commanding officer of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel Tom Armitage from the Life Guards, said: “It is a great honour to carry out these duties and the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment have worked tirelessly to ensure they are able to meet the high standard required.”
The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment is a regular sight at Trooping the Colour, escorting and protecting on her journey from Buckingham Palace to inspect the parade of Foot Guards on Horse Guards Parade.
The parade was cancelled in 2020, owing to the pandemic, and restrictions mean that a “refined parade” will take place this year at Windsor Castle on 12 June.
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The Household Cavalry is made up of the two most senior regiments in the British Army, The Life Guards and The Blues & Royals.
It is divided into the operationally focused Household Cavalry Regiment based in Bulford, Wiltshire and the ceremonial Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment in Knightsbridge, London, with soldiers moving between the two.
“Strong in will; to strive, to seek, to find and not to yield, the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment are the nation’s trusted guardians and, as of today, officially the smartest,” added the spokesman.
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