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The Queen's Birthday Parade 2022

The Queen's Birthday Parade 2022

 

Regiments of the Household Division

 

The Household Cavalry

 

The Household Cavalry is a union of the British Army’s most senior Regiments The Life Guards and The Blues and Royals. Between them, they provide the Household Cavalry Regiment stationed in Bulford which operates in an Armoured Reconnaissance role and the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment based at Hyde Park Barracks whose focus is State Ceremonial and Public Duties. Household Cavalry soldiers begin their service at the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment and then build their careers moving between the two Regiments allowing them to enjoy the ‘Best of Both Worlds’ as operational and mounted ceremonial experts.

 

The Life Guards

While in exile abroad, King Charles II selected members of his former royalist soldiers to form his bodyguard in Flanders. These men were at the core of the Regiment that was established as The Life Guards upon his restoration in 1660. Life Guards have been at Horse Guards ever since providing the King or Queen’s Life Guard, guarding the entrance to the Court. The Life Guards are the senior regiment in the British Army and on parade can be seen wearing red tunics with a white plume on their helmets.

 

The Blues and Royals

In 1661, King Charles II reformed the Regiment of Horse, originally formed during Cromwell’s New Model Army, as the Royal Regiment of Horse under command of the Earl of Oxford whose livery was blue. Thereafter it became known as the Royal Horse Guards (The Blues). The Blues were elevated to the status of Household Cavalry by King George IV in 1820. Also in 1661, The King raised a third cavalry Regiment, The Tangier Horse, to guard the North African town gifted to the Crown; it was subsequently renamed The Royal Dragoons (1st Dragoons) and known as The Royals. The Royals captured the Eagle of the French 105th Infantry Regiment at the battle of Waterloo and this battle honour can be seen on the left sleeve of their tunics. In 1969 the two Regiments merged to form The Blues and Royals and they can be seen on parade today wearing dark blue tunics with a red plume on their helmets.

 

Household Cavalry Regiment

Both Regiments are firmly focused on the pursuit of mounted excellence on either an Armoured Fighting Vehicle or a Military Working Horse. The exhaustive rehearsals, teamwork, confidence and meticulous attention to detail required to deliver The Queen’s Birthday parade are the same exacting skills employed by the Household Cavalry on operations around the world. Every Household Cavalryman joins to be an armoured reconnaissance soldier and the medals on parade today are a testament to their operational service in Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Since last year’s parade, the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment has supported operations in the UK in response to the COVID pandemic and has actively supported Defence Engagement with Denmark, Sweden, Spain and Serbia. Soldiers have performed at the Horse of the Year Show, London International Horse Show and the Royal Windsor Horse Show alongside the daily delivery of The Queen’s Life Guard at Whitehall. Household Cavalrymen have also represented the Army in equestrian sports.

The Household Cavalry Regiment has been deployed worldwide supporting operations and delivering training. The Regiment provided multiple short-term training teams to the Turks and Caicos Islands supported Defence Engagement in Kenya and deployed training and mentoring teams to the Czech Republic, Oman and South Korea. At home, Household Cavalry soldiers have excelled in Brigade Sniper Competitions, the Cambrian Patrol and the Divisional level Operational Shooting Competition.

These demanding dual roles and the varied operational and training opportunities that come with them ensure Household Cavalry soldiers have the skills, confidence and versatility to take on any challenge. The Household Cavalry remains the Sovereign’s Trusted Guardians “strong in will, to strive, to seek, to find and not to yield.”

 


 

The King's Troop, Royal Horse Artillery

 

The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery is Her Majesty’s saluting Battery. Comprising 170 personnel and 120 military working horses, it appears on all state occasions and fires the guns for the National Silence on Remembrance Sunday. In addition to occasions of state, the Troop performs the world-famous musical drive at events throughout the year and mounts the Queen’s Lifeguard each summer.

Their heritage is inextricably linked to the Royal Family having been formed in 1946 by King George VI himself. He subsequently renamed the Regiment from The Riding Troop to the King’s Troop on 24th October 1947, following a highly successful inspection. The Troop retains this title in his memory.

The Regiment has one of the most diverse workforces in the British Army and plays host to a myriad of careers including Farriers, Saddlers and Tailors who are trained through Army and Civilian apprenticeship schemes.

All members of the Troop are trained soldiers, like any other unit in the British Army, and stand ready to support overseas commitments and UK Contingency Operations. Alongside an exciting year of ceremonial duties, they have been proud to support the UK Civil Authorities; providing ambulance drivers and vaccinators during the pandemic, driving examiners during the HGV shortage and HQ elements in support of operations overseas.

The Troop has an illustrious sporting tradition, counting Olympic medallists amongst its previous members. Last year the Troop enjoyed success in equestrian sports, taking 1st and 2nd place in the Queen’s Cup and winning Best Farrier at the Royal Windsor Horse Show. Our people regularly compete for the Troop, Royal Regiment of Artillery and the Army in eventing, water skiing, snowboarding, boxing, rugby, cricket and football.

 


 

Grenadier Guards

 

The 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards has had a busy and varied few years since the last Birthday Parade on Horse Guards; a period that has been partially defined by COVID-19 and has seen the Battalion deployed on operations at home and abroad. It has also been a period marked by sadness as we bade farewell to The Duke of Edinburgh.

At home, the Battalion deployed Guardsmen across the country in Mobile Testing Units as support to the nation’s fight against COVID-19. Meanwhile, Grenadiers were also deployed abroad on Company rotations to the Falkland Islands, both defending the island and exercising alongside the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force, all in the starkly beautiful but physically demanding conditions of the South Atlantic.

In April 2021, Guardsmen of The Queen’s Company had the sombre and poignant duty of providing the bearer party for the coffin of our much-loved former Colonel, The Duke of Edinburgh; an event that will live long in the memory. The sadness was balanced by the joy at the news that Her Majesty The Queen would resume her role as our Colonel, 80 years after first assuming the appointment during World War II.

Elsewhere the Battalion has begun training for a 12-month deployment to Iraq beginning in June 2022. The Battalion’s soldiering skills were refined in Brecon and Salisbury Plain before deploying to Kenya in the autumn of 2021 to test our skills against the 2nd Battalion, The Rifles. The Battalion also managed to make the most of the Kenya experience with adventurous training, safari and even a climbing expedition to the summit of Mount Kenya.

2022 thus far has been focused on the final preparations for deploying Grenadiers to the Kurdish region of Northern Iraq, where the Battalion will support the training of Iraqi Security Forces engaged in the continuing fight against Islamic extremism. The 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards continues to serve Her Majesty and the Nation and remains a place for adventure and excitement for those who would seek it.

 

Nijmegen Company Grenadier Guards

Nijmegen Company is the independent company that holds the traditions of the 2nd Battalion Grenadier Guards since it was placed in suspended animation in 1994. This year has been a thoroughly exciting period for the Company, with a much looked forward return to normality of State Ceremonial and Public Duties following the COVID pandemic. Since last year’s Queen’s Birthday Parade at Windsor Castle, members of Nijmegen Company have had the opportunity to ski in the Alps, take part in Nordic skiing, follow in the footsteps of their Second World War forebears on a battlefield study to Nijmegen, play competitive sport for the army from rugby to basketball and have formed Guard of Honours for a number of State and Governmental visits. The soldiers on parade today epitomise exactly what it is to be ‘twice the man’ in the Grenadier Guards.

 


 

 

Coldstream Guards

 

Following the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards’ deployment in the fight against COVID-19, the past 12 months have seen Coldstreamers deployed all around the world, working alongside local governments, British forces and foreign militaries. The Coldstream Guards

have been deployed to Cyprus with the UN; to Mali working alongside UN security forces as well as the French forces, and to Iraq in support of UK forces. Furthermore, the Battalion has had the opportunity to assist and conduct training in an array of challenging environments, including the scorching plains of Kenya; the jungles of Belize, where Coldstream Jungle Warfare Instructors supported the Scots Guards in their delivery of Jungle training; the jungles of Jamaica where Coldstreamers were exposed to the challenges of operating in the jungle for the very first time; and finally the rocky and barren landscape of the Falkland Islands, which enabled Companies to hone their infantry skills in an unfamiliar and complex environment.

Whilst the Battalion was exceptionally busy overseas there was no respite for individuals back in the UK. As well as conducting Public Duties at Buckingham Palace, St James Palace, the Tower of London and Windsor Castle, members of Support Company had the honour to partake in the funeral of His Royal Highness Prince Philip. Coldstreamers also assisted the foreign office in the process and planning of the Afghan evacuation and assisted Afghan nationals commencing their new lives in the UK.

Members of the Battalion are currently undertaking a rigorous training cycle to hone their combat skills in preparation for another deployment to the Falkland Islands in late 2022 and to Kenya in 2023, which will test the Coldstream Battle Group within an operational setting. Steeped in history, the Coldstream Guards have risen to all challenges and opportunities thrown it's way. The Coldstream Guards will always focus on setting the highest of standards whether on ceremonial duties or deployed overseas.

 

Number 7 Company, Coldstream Guards

This year the Company has seen a variety of activities, deploying on numerous exercises and training events, including a select group to Jamaica in support of the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards. At home, the Company has conducted its normal drumbeat of State Ceremonial and Public Duties, with many high-profile Guards of Honour including at The Cenotaph for Remembrance Sunday. Alongside this live and dry training, exercises have been regular throughout the year, Army Cadet Forces and Military Preparation Colleges have been supported across London and charity events run to support veterans, most notable a 250km run across the Wadi Rum in Jordan. Soldiers remain committed to sport and adventure training, with sailing, boxing, football and swimming all taking high order, but skiing remains extremely popular too with the annual alpine ski trip able to take place this year.

 


 

 

Scots Guards

 

The 1st Battalion Scots Guards is a Mechanized Infantry Battalion that utilises Mastiff and Jackal protected mobility vehicles. It focuses on continual combat readiness and is stood by to protect UK overseas interests. The Battalion is currently based in Catterick.

Throughout 2021 and into 2022, the Battalion was one of the most operationally committed units in the Field Army. Elements of the Battalion were deployed on five operational tours overseas, a unique achievement in British Army's recent history. Right Flank deployed to Iraq, providing force protection to VIPs and delivering training to the Iraqi Army. Left Flank deployed to Kosovo as part of NATO’s Kosovo Force (KFOR) where they were responsible for assisting NATO in maintaining a safe and secure environment across the region. Other members of Left Flank deployed to the Falkland Islands for three months, managing to re-trace the footsteps of their forebearers on Mount Tumbledown. Elements of the Battalion also deployed to Ukraine to train the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Other Scots Guardsmen deployed to Poland with the US Army as part of NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence, designed to reassure NATO partners. In late 2021, the Battalion deployed on an expeditionary overseas training exercise to the Belizean jungle.

Closer to home, the Battalion has deployed in support of the NHS as part of the Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite all these commitments, the Battalion has still found time to conduct plenty of sports and adventurous training, with skiing in France, mountaineering in Scotland, Nordic skiing in Norway, coast-steering in Wales, surfing in Cornwall and caving and abseiling in Belize.

 

F Company Scots Guards

F Company has had a particularly busy year since trooping their Colour in a unique version of the parade in front of Her Majesty the Queen in Windsor Castle last June. After a short turnaround, the Company travelled north en masse to conduct Holyrood Palace and Edinburgh Castle Guards, giving the Guardsmen a brilliant opportunity to display their ceremonial expertise closer to many of their homes. With the Guardsmen mainly hailing from Scotland, but also from England and the Commonwealth, duties in Edinburgh are always a particular highlight. An overseas exercise to Gibraltar capped off the busy summer, where the Company deployed and completed serials focused on tunnel fighting and urban clearance. The unique subterranean tunnel network under the Rock of Gibraltar, and the scope to operate amongst the local population on the streets of the peninsula was a coup for the Company and an experience the Guardsmen will not forget.

The soldiers were able to immerse themselves in all the adventurous training opportunities that a Mediterranean coastal city offers and also assisted the Gibraltar Regiment in providing the Convent Guard with our world-renowned tunics and bearskins. The juggling of our State Ceremonial and Public Duties with our equally important immersive, quality ‘green’ training continues into the second half of 2022.

 


 

 

Irish Guards

 

The experiences of the 1st Battalion Irish Guards in the last year have embodied the Foot Guards' dual role, including operational deployments, being at readiness, conducting field exercises, and performing ceremonial duties with consummate style.

Following ongoing support to COVID 19 throughout 2020-21, summer 2021 saw members of the Battalion deployed to Zambia on counter-poaching operations. Following this in autumn 2021, the Battalion deployed to the United States on a brigade-level exercise for an action-packed two months alongside the 101st Airborne in the swamps of Louisiana. This training included large-scale live firing as well as air assault operations.

On return from the United States, the Battalion was held at readiness as one of three UK Stand-by Battalions. It also threw itself into preparation for the transition to ceremonial duties ensuring these would be fulfilled with the same professionalism that they had displayed in the United States. The Battalion took over ceremonial duties in March and has been busy conducting guard duties at the Royal Palaces since, alongside preparing for this parade. The Battalion was also presented with new Colours by HRH The Duke of Cambridge in May 22. There has also been time for adventures out of uniform, with a skiing expedition to France, offshore sailing expeditions, a host of army honour representation and other adventurous training activities.

‘The Micks’, as they are affectionately known, will move to 11 Security Force Assistance Brigades on August 22 while also creating for the first time two public duties companies to continue to perform ceremonial commitments. In the Security Force Assistance role, soldiers of the Irish Guards will deploy to Africa to assist in the training and development of partner nations' security forces.

A diverse Regiment, the Irish Guards draws soldiers from all over the British Isles and the Republic of Ireland, as well as the wider Commonwealth. Trained at Catterick and honed in Battalion, the Micks are a tight-knit family. Once a Mick, always a Mick, as embodied in the motto, Quis Separabit: ‘who shall separate us’.

 


 

 

Welsh Guards

 

Based in Combermere Barracks, Windsor, the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards is currently deployed in Iraq, Kuwait, Cyprus, Kenya and Zambia. Alongside existing operational commitments, the Battalion are also preparing to re-assume its State Ceremonial and Public Duties role in January 2023.

Summer 2021 saw the Welsh Guards deploy to Iraq on Operation SHADER. Since then, the Battalion has had at least one Company working in the multi-national coalition, providing protection and escorts to high-ranking officials in the Kurdish Region of Iraq. This has proved to be a complex task in an ever-changing theatre of operations, but one to which our guardsmen have risen with aplomb. In true Household Division tradition, the Welsh Guards showed discipline, professionalism, and adaptability throughout their deployment.

Whilst June of this year marks the end of the Battalion’s tour to Iraq, other tasks across the world continue. The team deployed on Operation CORDED as part of the counter- illegal wildlife trade effort. Alongside our Zambian partners, we are learning not only the new challenges presented by operating in the savannahs of Africa, but also from the opportunities, with planning for some exciting adventurous training already shaping up. Those not deployed in Zambia are preparing to conduct jungle exercises in Belize and desert training in Oman. And all of this whilst conducting the necessary training that will prepare the Battalion for their traditional role guarding Her Majesty’s palaces in 2023.

Life in Barracks has also changed, with every morning dedicated solely to physical training for the whole Battalion. This renewed focus on physical training has ensured that all soldiers serving with the Welsh Guards are physically, as well as mentally, fit. The Welsh Guards boxing team has taken a leading role across the Battalion’s sports this year with a vibrant refurbishment of the boxing gym whilst they prepare to defend their Household Division boxing title – Cymru am Byth!

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