Military Life

How does the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment prepare for a state visit?

The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment has been preparing for the first State Visit under the reign of King Charles III. 

A State Visit involves hundreds of horses and can involve over a month of preparation and planning, following guidance from Buckingham Palace.  

Forces News has gone behind the scenes at Hyde Park barracks to see how the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment is preparing for its first state visit in London for four years.

With no hoof left unpolished, it can take hours to get one horse parade ready, and some require more attention than others.  

The Household Cavalry horses are groomed daily all year round. In the week leading up to the state visit, the horses are checked twice a day. 

On the big day itself, farriers start at 07:00 ensuring all the horses taking part in the state visit are properly shod and safe to go on parade. 

Once the horses have been sorted, attention is turned to preparing the kit.  

Lance Corporal Jemma Dickinson, Blues and Royals, said the secret to achieving a flawless finish is "a lot of polish". 

"Everything that is supposed to be black is black. Everything that's white is white and everything that's shiny needs to shine," LCpl Dickinson said.  

While a state visit is a rare and special event, looking flawless every day is second nature to the regiment that undertakes the King's Life Guard daily.