17 days to go

Here’s another blog from Captain James Hulme, Troop Leader and Unit Press Officer for the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment. With 17 days to go before the Royal Wedding morale remains high, despite the endless kit cleaning…

William

William

A busy week so far, but at least the weather is holding out here in Knightsbridge, the home to the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment. This freak proto-summer has been a big help to the rehearsals. Also a bit of sun just eases the Regiment through what is a very stressful time. I am happy to report that morale is very high and looks to be staying that way. When in a normal season, soldiers might be beginning to tire of the endless kit cleaning, but this year it has definitely helped that the hard work is for a wholly justifiable reason. We really are privileged to be taking part in something so special.

In the pipeline for this week is an event that will see our home at Hyde Park Barracks open to the world’s media. Everyone wants to know what we’re up to in the final three weeks leading to the big day and, as the Unit Press Officer, I’m the one to organise their access. Not that it’s quantifiable, but I think that the Royal Wedding will be one of the biggest media events of the decade. I will hopefully be able to let the reader know an estimation of where to see us, and when. Please keep your eyes glued to www.facebook.com/hcmr for details.

At least working over the weekend did give me an opportunity to check up on my charger William. He still hasn’t completely recovered, though he is no longer lame at the walk. He certainly had enough energy to break free from his stall and raid the hay storage area in the stables. He really is quite an escape artist. I took him for a bit of walk out into the sun, and I think he appreciated this, he certainly laps up the attention. His vanity knows no limits. He will definitely be chuffed that his photo appears online.

Since William’s little mishap (definitely attributable to over-excitement), I have been on two different horses, trying them out for size, just in case William remains on sick leave the day of the Royal Wedding:

Cornet: a beautiful horse, but not quite as tall or handsome as William. He also belongs to another Officer. In my opinion, his longish ears make him look a little like a mule. Cornet has his merits though. He is very easily controlled one-handed, which is always a bonus. He is much less headstrong which means the rider can relax a lot more and settle down to the job at hand – commanding a division. He is rather slow at the walk though, and one really has to push him on.

Jubilee: I took this youngster on a Watering Order on Monday. He isn’t an Officer’s charger, so I would never really be able to use him on a parade, but as a competent troop horse he is definitely the future. One has to avoid his hind quarters though, he has a tendency to kick out. He will eventually learn some manners. I will probably ride him again tomorrow, just to confirm my assessment.

Today though, our Commanding Officer inspected the Regiment. We are yet to hear the feedback, the exact detail of how we might improve our performance, but there were no major mishaps at least. As a Blue & Royal, I painfully have to concede that The Life Guards win the contest for the smarter ‘dressing’ today, ie their ranks were geometrically perfect. The Blues & Royals will have their day yet, let me reassure you…

11 thoughts on “17 days to go

  1. Your regiments are always superbly turned out, having been in the army myself I know the importance of “getting it right” which I have passed onto my 10 year old daughter everytime she attends horse riding events, her gear, her self and her horse are always well presented, I look forward to see you all on the big day!!

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  2. Is it purely coincidence that your trusty steed is named “William”?

    I am really enjoying your blogs, and the FB page. As a young one I really wanted to be a mounted policewoman, or similar, working with horses, but back then (30+ years ago here in Australia) height restrictions rendered me too short. Daft really, considering height isn’t an issue when mounted.

    Can’t wait to see you all on the Big Day!

    Cheers.

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  3. Pleased to see a photo of william, he is a stunning fellow. cant wait for the next info section makes me feel a part of it all well done hope all goes well, I would think it will be on the tv so although we ex pats who live in Australia are not there to see we can see from our lounges, and toast the happy couple in the comfort of our homes.

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  4. It is nice to be able to read up dates, jim would have been looking to see what music was going to be played, I am hoping to bring my little Grandson upto London on the Day so it will be great to find out where you can be seen Helene

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  5. Hi,
    I’m married to a retired army officer and saw your blog on Facebook. I’m an animal healer and have taken the liberty of sending William some distant healing to help his recovery. I’m sure you guys are more used to veterinary treatment but, as they say, every little bit helps 🙂
    I wish William a speedy recovery and hope that you enjoy lots of fun with him – he’s certainly a bit of a character.

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  6. I am a journalist writing a short photo essay about the HCMR rehearsals and came upon your blog while doing research. Am very happy to read first-hand about all the preparations. I wish you and the other members of the regiment – including the cavalry blacks! – all the best on April 29!

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  7. sorry Capt but Wilton looks dead to me, something not right about him. His flat looking, pat

    Sorry Wilton but i think you might look o k out on the hunt. but not in a royal procession

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