Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment on parade for the Major General's Inspection in Hyde Park
Army

Household Cavalry Mark Start Of Ceremonial Season In Hyde Park

More than 165 soldiers and horses took part in the event.

Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment on parade for the Major General's Inspection in Hyde Park

The Household Cavalry has been on parade for the Major General's Inspection in Hyde Park  (Picture: PA).

The Household Cavalry has marked the start of the ceremonial season as they were put through their paces in Hyde Park.

Soldiers paraded in front of Major General Ben Bathurst, General Officer Commanding the Household Division, to prove their readiness for another summer of displays.

More than 165 soldiers and horses took part in the event on Thursday, who were joined by two French and two Danish counterparts.

Staff Corporal Carl Lacey said the annual inspection is "immensely important", adding that it is crucial to refresh the drills and process in the minds of the horses and soldiers.

Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment on the Mall in 2017 (Picture: MOD).
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment on the Mall in 2017 (Picture: MOD).

"This is the precursor to the regiment going on parade in front of Her Majesty," he said.

"The Major General comes and gives us a tick in the box that he is happy with our turn out, the way that the horses look and are behaving."

He said the inspection is as close to the format seen on the Queen's birthday parade as possible, with the soldiers and horses replicating moves that will be performed.

With hundreds of hours of preparation leading up to the inspection, the mass of glinting metal and immaculately presented horses trotted across the grass in a display of military precision.

How do you prepare for a parade fit for the Queen?

Based in Hyde Park, Knightsbridge, the Mounted Regiment of the Household Cavalry provides ceremonial troops for all state occasions including the opening of Parliament.

The cleaning and maintenance of the uniform and horses kit can take up to 10 hours - four hours for soldier or officer clothing and five hours for the items worn by the horse.

Up to three kilograms of beeswax is used on the jackboots worn by the soldiers and can take seven hours per boot to polish up to their patent shine.