Army

Household Cavalry's Final Inspection Before Queen's Birthday Parade

More than 100 horses and personnel left Hyde Park Barracks to be inspected by the General Officer Commanding of the Household Division.

The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment has been inspected before participating in the Queen’s birthday parade.

Around 170 horses and personnel from the British Army regiment left Hyde Park Barracks and headed to the 'football pitch' area of Hyde Park to be inspected by the General Officer Commanding of the Household Division.

This year's Trooping the Colour, an event which usually celebrates the monarch's official birthday, was cancelled in its "traditional form" due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It is the second year in a row such measures have been taken for the event.

Details on this year's celebration for the Queen's birthday are yet to be formally announced in detail, although Buckingham Palace said in March options for "an alternative parade, in the quadrangle at Windsor Castle" were being considered.

If the "alternative" arrangements do take place, there could be similarities to the Queen's official birthday celebrations in 2020, when the Welsh Guards led events at Windsor Castle.

The mounted band of the Household Cavalry, along with their shire Drum horses, joined the Household division for the inspection.

The Major General Chris Ghika, General Officer Commanding London District and Commanding Officer of the Household Division, inspected horsemanship, turnout and State Ceremonial uniform.

Lieutenant Colonel Tom Armitage, Commanding Officer of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, said the inspection is a "quality control check" from the Major General.

"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," he said.

House Cavalry Mounted Regiment in Hyde Park during inspection ahead of Queen's birthday parade 030621 CREDIT BFBS 2
The inspection means the regiment is able to take part in the Queen's birthday parade.

The regiment demonstrated the main elements of the major State Ceremonial parades, with the Major General riding through the ranks to check on every trooper and cavalry horse.

Major General Ghika then took his position at the inspection site, with the Household Cavalry Regiment filing past in walk and trot to replicate the Queen's Birthday parade.

They also demonstrated a Captain's Escort as a further demonstration of the Regiment's abilities. 

The Major General’s annual inspection is the ultimate test for the British Army's ceremonial unit, and one they must pass to participate in upcoming State Ceremonial duties.

This includes being part of the Queen’s Birthday Parade for the first time since 2019, with the previous two Trooping the Colour events being cancelled.

The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment is a regular sight at Trooping the Colour, where it performs as the Sovereign's Escort.

This sees them escort and protect the Queen as she travels from Buckingham Palace to Horse Guards Parade to inspect the Foot Guards.

Coronavirus curtailed that duty last year and while restrictions mean the parade cannot take place at Horse Guards Parade this year, they will participate in a scaled-back parade at Windsor Castle on 12 June.

For more than 300 years, the Household Cavalry has been the Sovereign's most trusted bodyguard, escorting her Majesty on numerous state occasions.

They also provide staircase parties for the State Opening of Parliament and State Banquets.