Soldiers take part in State Opening of Parliament

More than 1,300 troops and 200 horses took to the streets of London today to enable Her Majesty The Queen to deliver The Queen’s Speech and set out the government's legislative agenda to both Houses of Parliament. The State Opening marks the formal start of the next parliamentary session and is steeped in centuries of tradition.

Sailors, Royal Marines, Soldiers and Royal Air Force personnel from across the entire United Kingdom were assembled to line the streets and escort the Crown Jewels and Her Majesty The Queen’s procession from Buckingham Palace to the House of Lords and back. It’s an incredibly complex and challenging operation to bring so many moving parts together but the service personnel performed their duties impeccably, working alongside the Police to ensure safe passage.

There is no more glittering occasion in the ceremonial calendar, horses and uniforms shone and popped with colour, and six Bands from all three Armed Services performed world class music along the entire length of the processional route. The 1st Battalion Welsh Guards had the privilege of providing the Large Guard of Honour with The Queen’s Colour at the Palace of Westminster. It was commanded by Major Chris Davies. Together with the Regalia Escort and Sovereign’s Escort of The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment these operationally seasoned troops provided an impressive show of military force at the Sovereign’s Entrance while Her Majesty delivered The
Queen’s Speech.

A 41 Gun Salute was fired in The Green Park to mark the arrival of Her Majesty at the Palace of Westminster, and at the Tower of London at the exact moment that She left the Palace of Westminster having delivered The Queen’s Speech, the Honourable Artillery Company fired
another 41 Gun Salute.

This is a busy period for everyone. Many of the units taking part were involved recently in operational deployments to Iraq, Afghanistan, Estonia, Georgia, South Sudan, Malawi and the Falkland Islands. The Bands are always heavily committed with concerts and performances in support of defence engagement events across the globe. Troops involved are also preparing for Remembrance week in early November, in particular the National Act of Remembrance at the Cenotaph, The Lord Mayor’s Show, and the Festival of Remembrance at the Albert Hall. But for many involved, the State Opening of Parliament is a very grand occasion and there was a great feeling of pride in the heart of every serviceman and woman participating.