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The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment

The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment (HCMR) maintains a world-famous tradition dating back to 1660, and yet every man on parade is first and foremost a fighting soldier, fully trained and operational.

Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment	With a proud tradition of over three centuries service as a bodyguard to the Sovereign, and made up of the British Army’s two most senior regiments, HCMR sits at the very heart of the cultural and military heritage of Britain. The Regiment’s rich history stretches back to 1660 from descendants of King Charles II’s Life Guards and the Earl of Oxford’s ‘Blues’. Since then it has forged a tradition, ethos and reputation for excellence and professionalism, whether on State Ceremonial duties, or providing support on military operations.

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.

Both soldiers and officers at HCMR are tough and resourceful, proud of their Regiment’s 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 have fought in Afghanistan and more recently conducted exercises in the UK and abroad.

Public Duties and State Ceremonial

A key defence output, and one of the Army's 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 national and international audiences.


HCMR's key Public Duties and State Ceremonial outputs

  • The Queen's Life Guard: In early times the Guard was as much as 100 strong and provided Escorts to accompany the Sovereign wherever they 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 11.00 (10.00 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.
  • Short Guard: When Her Majesty is not resident in London, the Guard is reduced to 2 Non-Commissioned Officers and 10 Troopers.
  • The Queen's 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 Castle's 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) from the HCMR.
  • State Visits: Formal visits to the UK by Heads of State from overseas have the aim of strengthening Britain's relationships with other countries. There are normally two visits annually that would typically see the Sovereign and visiting Heads of State escorted by four mounted divisions (more than 100 men). These could take place in London, Windsor or Edinburgh.
  • Remembrance Sunday at the Cenotaph: A dismounted division from the 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 Mayor's Show: A mounted division (25 men) deploy as part of the procession.
  • The Major General's Inspection: The whole Regiment is mounted for an annual inspection by the General Officer Commanding London District in Hyde Park prior to the beginning of the main Ceremonial season.

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