Trooping the Colour - Colonel's Review

Saturday 2nd June 2018

Horse Guards Parade

It's hard to believe that it is 50 weeks since we watched The Queen's Review a week or so after I was installed as Master. This year's Queen's Review will take place after I step down as Master. Today, we saw the Dress Rehearsal which in many ways can be more entertaining. This year, it is the turn of the Coldstream Guards to lead the Parade. We were the guests of the Learned Clerk and Alan Beggs. Alan is a veteran of 66 parades during his 22 years as a musician in the Irish Guards. I was privileged to have Alan's commentary and the occasional groan when something had gone wrong. Being a dress rehearsal there is always the chance that something may go wrong and it happened.

As the Household Cavalry started its second lap of the parade ground, there was a horse without a rider. What happened to the rider? Was the breastplate scratched? Will the Cavalry get to the horse before the horse gets to Trafalgar Square and causes chaos? Is this all covered by The Official Secrets Act? Was the Colonel happy withe the performance?

What did go well was the music together with the drill and choreography on the parade ground. No country can match us for pomp and circumstance.

After the last of the guards left Horse Guards Parade, we headed for Wellington Barracks for a tour with Alan and a refreshing glass of Theakston's Best in the Sergeant's Mess. After the beer, we went to the temporary stables to see the horses waiting impatiently for their lunch. They are majestic beasts; alert and full of individual character. They kicked their stable doors to remind us that lunch was late.

Another memorable day and thank you Alan and Sandra.