Household Cavalry gets a modern image

  • The Princess Royal unveiled a vast three metre-long painting of the officers of the Household Cavalry regiment in Knightsbridge on Saturday (12 June).

    Featuring 25 officers currently serving with the Household Cavalry, it is a modern version of an original painting from 1857 that hangs in the Officers’ Mess.

    Notable differences between the original and the 2010 version, are the inclusion of two females, officers from Ghana and Zimbabwe and a Sikh and Hindu of Indian descent.

    “The painting showcases the diverse complexion of the modern Household Cavalry who have been deployed on operations in Afghanistan consistently since 2004,” said adjutant Captain Ed Olver, who is seated in the centre of the painting.

    “In the original the officers are mostly wearing civilian clothing,” said Captain Charlie Meredith-Hardy, who posed in top hat and tails. “But we wanted to reflect every aspect of regimental life.”

    The soldiers are dressed to denote activities within the regiment, including polo and hunting kit and a variety of military dress, from combats to full ceremonial gear.

    The painting, by 28-year-old Fulham-based artist Louise Pragnell, was commissioned to celebrate the regiment’s 350th anniversary and took two years to complete.

    “I was honoured to be selected, as all previous portraits have been painted by male artists,” Ms Pragnell said.

    “I found the experience extremely humbling — being surrounded by individuals who have fought on the front line and have an impressive collection of experience and achievements was overwhelming.”

    The unveiling ceremony took place at Hyde Park barracks, London, after the Trooping of the Colour — the Queen’s Birthday Parade.

    To see more of Louise Pragnell’s work see www.louisepragnell.com.

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