Tag - Household Cavalry

Horse Guards with Spurs

What is a Spur?

Spurs are usually worn in pairs on the heels of riding boots. Their purpose is to help direct the horse to move forward or laterally while riding. They help to refine commands but to also backup more natural riding aids such as the legs, hands and voice. The spur was first used by the Celts during the La Tène period which began in the 5th century BC. A medieval knight was said to have ‘earned his spurs’ and this phrase has continued in to the modern era as an honour given to individuals in organisations with military heritage. Members of the British Order of the Garter receive spurs from the Monarchy. Spur styles differ between disciplines. For instance, spurs used for western riding tend to be more decorated and heavier. Spurs used in English riding tend to be of a more conservative design and are very slim and sleek with a rounded or blunt end. When used in sports riding such as dressage, [...]

Tropping of the Colour 2016

Military Parade

A military parade is an organised formation of soldiers who restricted by close-order manoeuvring marching or ‘drilling’. Up until the late 19th century soldiers fought in formation, but in modern times the military parade is now entirely ceremonial. Sometimes a parade is performed to exhibit the military strength of a nation. The oldest and largest military parade in Europe is the Bastille Day Military Parade on the 14th of July in Paris during France’s national day celebrations. The terminology comes from close order formation combat where soldiers were held in strict formations to maximise their combat effectiveness. Military drills are performed to memorise certain actions, formations and movements. Recruits in modern armies are taught drills to show them how to work as a team while formations are also still used in riot control. There are four directions used in a parade: the Advance, the Retire, the Left and the Right. The Advance is the primary direction of movement and on a [...]

Royal Irish Regiement

Blue is the Colour

The soldiers chosen to Troop the Colour, on June 17th at Horse Guards Parade, have this year been examined to check they are up to the job. The 1st Battalion The Irish Guards were inspected in their red tunics by General Officer Commanding London District and Major General Commanding the Household Division, Ben Bathurst. The Irish Guards wear a blue plume on the right side of their bearskins, and given that this is The Queen’s Blue Sapphire Jubilee, this seems very appropriate. The mantle and sash of the Order of St. Patrick, is also blue. Everything from the tailoring of the uniform to the regiment’s ability to march to time was under scrutiny by The Major General at Cavalry Barracks in Hounslow. Dohmall, the regiment’s famous wolfhound mascot was also on parade. Prince William, The Duke of Cambridge, became Colonel of The Irish Guards in 2011 and this year will be the first time since 2009 that their soldiers have trooped the [...]

How to wear an Aiguillette

An aiguillette is an ornamental braided cord, usually worn on a uniform to denote an honour. Although similar in some ways to a lanyard, the two should not be confused. Lanyards are made from fibre, whereas aiguillettes are usually made from silver or gold cord. Aiguillettes also have pointed tips. Plates of armour used to be secured together by attaching the breast and back plates with short loops of cord acting as a hinge on one side, while a more ornate loop was tied to support the arm defences on the other. As armour became more ornamental so did these ties. After the civil wars it became fashionable to have bunches of ribbons worn at the shoulder sometimes in the form of bows with tagged ends. This fashion died out in England but continued in the French court dress of Louis the 14th and 15th into the early 18th century. This style was revived by the British Army in the form [...]

Early Morning Rehersal for the HCav

The Household Cavalry

Household Cavalry The Household Cavalry (HCav) is made up of the Life Guards and the Blue and Royals – the most senior regiments of the British Army. These two regiments are the Queen’s official bodyguard and are divided into two with the Armoured Regiment (HCR) being stationed at the Combermere Barracks in Windsor and the Mounted Regiment (HCMR) at Hyde Park Barracks in London. The Household Cavalry is classed as a corps and dates back to the 1660s. With the Life Guards being formed by King Charles II in 1660 and the Blues and Royals both being formed in 1661. The Blues and Royals were amalgamated into one unit in 1969. The two units of the Household Cavalry have very different roles: The first is the Household Cavalry regiment (HCR). This has an active operational role and serves using armoured fighting vehicles meaning the HCR are often at the forefront of the nation’s conflicts. The Household Division have been required to take part [...]

What is the Best Looking Military Uniform?

The Hussars The uniform of the Napoleonic Hussars included the pelisse: a short fur-edged jacket which was often worn slung over one shoulder in the style of a cape, and was fastened with a cord. This garment was extensively adorned with braiding (often gold or silver for officers) and rows of multiple buttons. The tunic was worn underneath, which was also decorated in braid. The Hussar’s accoutrements included a Hungarian-style saddle, covered by a decorated saddlecloth, with long pointed corners surmounted by a sheepskin. On active service the Hussar normally wore reinforced breeches which had leather on the inside of the leg to prevent them from wearing. On the outside of their breeches was a row of buttons, and sometimes a stripe in a different colour. A busby was worn as headwear. The colours of the dolman, pelisse and breeches varied greatly by regiment, even within the same army. Hussars were the only corps in the British Army allowed to wear moustaches. The [...]