Prepare for pomp and pageantry – the Queen’s cavalry is coming to the Isle of Wight.
For the very first time, The Household Cavalry – an important part of every Trooping of the Colour, Royal Wedding and Coronation – is heading for the Isle of Wight.
The team of 28 horses, 28 riders, 4 musicians, and 4 grooms, will be making the 100 mile journey from their barracks in Hyde Park to the County Showground in Northwood in June. They are set to perform a 20 minute spectacle known as the Musical Ride – a traditional series of manoeuvres, set to music, that dates back to 1882.
The elite soldiers will be dressed exactly as they are for full state ceremonial events – in striking red uniforms, with tall, tasseled helmets – but carrying lances instead of swords.
While four other riders will appear in traditional stable-wear, which allows them to perform stunts such as laying the horses down, and then standing up on the saddles.
The display is accompanied by strident music, and four state trumpeters.
Speaking exclusively to Isle of Wight Radio, Chairman of the County Show Graham Biss said:
“If I’m honest with you, when we extended the invitation we didn’t expect for one moment they would say yes. And it was a very simple email back to me which said ‘yes we are free, yes we’ll come to the Island’…
“I just sort of sat there in complete disbelief.”
Graham says organisers have had to do ‘an awful lot’ to meet their extensive demands to ensure the best show possible.
“It really is something to behold. Certainly talking to shows on the mainland, everyone has said ‘wow, you’re really lucky’, and it’s well worth coming to see.”
The Royal County Show will return to Northwood on 30 June.