An Introduction to the
HOUSEHOLD CAVALRY MOUNTED REGIMENT
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With a proud tradition of over three centuries service as a bodyguard to the Sovereign, and made up of the British Armys two most senior regiments, the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment sits at the very heart of the cultural and military heritage of Britain. The Regiments rich history stretches back to 1660, from descendants of King Charles IIs Life Guards and the Earl of Oxfords Blues. Since then it has forged a tradition, ethos and reputation for excellence and professionalism, whether it is for State Ceremonial duties, or delivering manpower for the recent military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Every Household Cavalry soldier is first and foremost a fighting soldier, and uniquely in the British Army, the Household Cavalry use their qualities to excellent effect by combining their role in armoured fighting vehicles with the mounted State Ceremonial role. It is this flexibility that has allowed us to remain at the forefront of the combat operations of today, whilst still maintaining the highest standards and strong traditions of the past.
This brief is to inform what we do, who we are and how we do it.
THE HOUSEHOLD CAVALRY MOUNTED REGIMENT (HCMR)
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Public Duties and State CeremonialA key defence output, and one of the Armys Standing Tasks, Public Duties and State Ceremonial form part of the fabric of the nation. For a country with global interests, these roles offer a powerful symbol of our operational military heritage, whilst enhancing the standing of the Sovereign and the Nation before both national and international audiences.
HCMRs key Public Duties and State Ceremonial outputs: The Queens Life Guard. In early times the Guard
was as much as 100 strong and provided Escorts to accompany the Sovereign wherever he or she travelled by road. It now consists of either a Long Guard or a Short Guard on duty at Horse Guards, with a daily changing ceremony at 11 oclock (10 oclock on Sundays), on Horse Guards Parade. Long Guard: When The Queen is in London, the
Guard consists of 1 Officer, 1 Corporal Major (who carries the Standard), 2 Non-Commissioned Officers,
1 Trumpeter and 10 Troopers. This is known as a Long Guard.
Short Guard: When Her Majesty is not resident in London, the Guard is reduced to 2 Non-Commissioned Officers and 10 Troopers.
The Queens Birthday Parade. The highlight of the Ceremonial Season, and televised across the world, HCMR provides four mounted divisions to escort the Sovereign and perform a March Past.
The Garter Ceremony at Windsor Castle. The Regiment is in the dismounted role, lining the route to Windsor Castles chapel for the investiture of new members to the Order.
Investitures. Around 25 times a year, Household Cavalrymen provide staircase parties as individuals are presented awards and honours by Her Majesty the Queen, the Prince of Wales or the Princess Royal.
The State Opening of Parliament. An historic occasion, each year the Sovereign drives in State to Westminster for the State Opening of Parliament, escorted by four
mounted divisions (over 100 men) of HCMR. State Visits. Formal visits to the UK by Heads of State
from overseas have the aim of strengthening Britains relationships with other countries. There are normally four visits annually that would typically see the Sovereign and visiting Head of State escorted by four mounted divisions (over 100 men). These could take place in London, Windsor or Edinburgh.
Remembrance Sunday at the Cenotaph. A dismounted division from HCMR represents the Regiment to commemorate Remembrance Day, the anniversary of the end of WWI in 1918, at 1100hrs, The national ceremony is held at the Cenotaph on Whitehall, London.
The Lord Mayors Show. A mounted division (25 men) deploy as part of the procession.
The Major Generals Inspection. The whole Regiment is mounted for an annual inspection by the GOC LONDIST in Hyde Park prior to the beginning of the main Ceremonial season.
Contingency RolesHCMR is an iconic element of the UKs military tradition. We often take part in large scale national celebrations such as Royal Weddings, Olympics and Jubilees. We are also heavily involved with community engagement, charity events and low-level defence diplomacy, both in London and further afield. We have particularly strong ties with equivalent mounted units in the Middle East and South Asia.
Royal WeddingsThe Regiment has a long history of involvement in Royal Weddings. The 1662 marriage of King Charles II to Catherine of Braganza was our first: The Troops of Horse were drawn up in Hyde Park, a very noble sight in all capacities. Most of that great body had formerly been at war, and so were more fit to be guard and escort to the couple most excellent... More recently, the Regiment played a prominent role in the Weddings of the Prince of Wales in 1981, Prince Andrew in 1986 and the marriage of Prince William and Catherine Middleton in 2011.
HCMR provided a Sovereigns Escort to Her Majesty The Queen and a Captains Escort to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, with officers accompanying their carriage who had served with Prince William during his service with The Blues and Royals.
Jubilees2012 saw the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty The Queen. HCMR again played a central role in escorting Her Majesty on the many different celebratory parades through London. This was combined later in the year with the Olympic Games for which the Regiment provided ceremonial troops and a military contingent force in support.
Musical RideShowcasing the very best of military equestrianism and tradition, the Household Cavalry Musical Ride offers a mounted display team that performs both nationally and worldwide.
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StructureThe Household Cavalry is made up of the Life Guards and the Blues & Royals. They are the most senior regiments in the British Army and are split between two different units equipped to perform two quite different roles. The Household Cavalry Regiment (HCR), based in Windsor, has an operational role in armoured fighting vehicles which has seen them at the forefront of Britains military operations including the Falklands, the Gulf, and more recently in Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan.
HCMR is equipped with horses and based in London. It is their unique privilege to meet the requirement to carry out mounted and some dismounted ceremonial duties on State and Royal occasions, including the Queens Birthday Parade and State Visits. We constantly rotate soldiers between the Regiments. At HCMR there is a Life Guard Mounted Squadron (red tunics and white-plumed helmets), and Blues & Royals Mounted Squadron (blue tunics and red-plumed helmets). There is also a Regimental Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron manned by a mixture of the two.
BLUES & ROYALSMOUNTED
REGIMENTAL ADMIN OFFICE
FormationsHCMR soldiers and horses can be seen every day travelling to and from Horse Guards to furnish The Queens Life Guard (QLG). If Her Majesty The Queen is in residence, the 15 strong column is led by a Trumpeter on a grey horse, an Officer rides in the middle of the column, just to the right of a Warrant Officer who will be carrying the richly adorned Sovereigns Standard. When the Queen is not in residence, the guard reduces to 12, commanded by a Corporal of Horse.
For larger State Ceremonial parades, HCMR will be organised into divisions, blocks of 24 soldiers and horses (riding four abreast) with the Officer riding front left. A March-Out for HCMR could include as many as 6 mounted divisions (approx 200 men and horsesincluding standard parties, the command element, and regalia escorts). We also provide the horses for the 2 Household Cavalry Mounted Bands (the Band of the Life Guards and the Band of the Blues & Royals).
ManpowerEvery Household Cavalry soldier is first and foremost a fighting soldier. The troops participating in the parades are fully trained, operational troops from the Household Cavalry. Both soldiers and officers at HCMR are tough and resourceful, proud of their Regiments history, and ready to rise to the challenges that modern warfare poses. Above all service at HCMR also helps to develop the highly competent reconnaissance soldiers who now find themselves at the forefront of the campaign in Afghanistan.
The Household Cavalry maintains a world-famous tradition dating back to 1660. A unique job calls for special soldiers: young men who can adapt to the added responsibility and variety that a career in the Household Cavalry offers. HCMR is dependent on the versatility of its soldiers, of which we currently have around 350 all ranks. The tasks required of mounted ceremonial soldiers are extremely wide-ranging and challenging, especially as the majority of them have had no previous equine experience.
Horses are by their very nature time intensive, and require constant care and attention. HCMR has an exacting daily routine which must be maintained 365 days of the year. It starts with reveille at 0530hrs, with horses exercised between 0700 and 1000 hrs. This is followed by hours of kit and equipment maintenance and cleaning, all for it to be presented to the highest possible standards on ceremonial occasions.
The rank and insignia of non-commissioned officers (NCOs) in the Hous