Musician Dominic Buswell, 26, from Poole, Dorset will be among 1,500 soldiers and 250 horses from the Household Division who will parade in front of thousands of spectators in London, and the millions watching on television around the globe for the Queen's Platinum Jubilee Birthday Parade on 2 June.
Members of the Royal Family will travel to Horse Guards located in the heart of the nation’s capital to watch the Trooping the Colour ceremony. The annual display of pomp and pageantry has marked the official birthday of the monarch for more than 260 years and this year will have extra significance as it also coincides with the 70th anniversary of The Queen’s Coronation.
“It is the biggest honour for me to take part. This parade will probably stick with me for the whole of my life and remain with me more than any other due to its significance.” Musician Dominic Buswell
Although Dominic has taken part in two of Her Majesty the Queen’s previous parades, this year will mark a first for the soldier who has served as a musician for over seven years in the British Army. He will be easy to spot, mounted atop one of the Shire Drum Horses taking part in the parade. Whilst mounted he can play Bass Drum, Snare Drum and Cymbals. This year will be the first time he has fulfilled this mounted role as a drummer.
He explains what it means to him to be part of the Trooping the Colour Parade:
“It is the biggest honour for me to take part. This parade will probably stick with me for the whole of my life and remain with me more than any other due to its significance.”
Drum Horses of the Household Cavalry carry the rank of Major and as such are senior to all other animals of rank in the Army. Carrying a solid silver kettle drum on each side, Ed, only joined the Household Cavalry in late 2020 and is being paraded just two years after he enlisted. Training for this role usually takes about three years. He’s a curious Drum Horse too who loves attention and although he stands at over 17 hands (1.73 metres) tall and weighs in at nearly 800 kilograms, he is a big friendly giant. Ed will not stay as this gelding’s name forever, he is, in another traditional ceremony set to be re-named by Her Majesty the Queen.
The Queen’s Birthday Parade is the Household Division’s special opportunity to wish Her Majesty a happy birthday on this unique Platinum Jubilee year. The Queen served in the Army while she was Princess Elizabeth. As Sovereign she is Colonel in Chief of the Army, and no one is a greater expert on this Parade. It illustrates all that is important about soldiering: discipline, detail, teamwork, commitment and endurance. Swords, medals, buttons and breast plates will shine while horses and soldiers carry out complex military drill manoeuvres to music.
“I have had to Deal with the pressures that go with learning to ride a horse of this type and playing whilst mounted. I must make sure I concentrate on my role on the big day.” Musician Dominic Buswell
Musician Buswell’s biggest achievement over the past 12 months was gaining promotion to Lance Corporal. More recently however he has taken on a different type of challenge:
“I have had to deal with the pressures that go with learning to ride a horse of this type and playing whilst mounted. I must make sure I concentrate on my role on the big day.”
This year the honour to Troop their Colour falls to the Irish Guards and every detail is designed to delight and impress. The music includes “Slattery’s Mounted Fut”, a favourite tune of Her Majesty The Queen Mother, “Long Live Elizabeth” in tribute to Her Majesty The Queen, Irish Folk songs, and “Bob’s Own” a new composition just for this event named for the first Colonel of the Irish Guards, Field Marshal Lord Roberts; as well as the reassuringly familiar traditional regimental marches.
Every man and woman on the Queen’s Birthday Parade is first and foremost, an operational soldier, ready at short notice to operate both in the United Kingdom and abroad. It is remarkable that they have been able, in such a short space of time to perfect the ceremonial movements and drills that once formed the bedrock of infantry tactics in days gone by.
Much of the uniforms draw their relevance from the frontline battlefields of previous centuries and it has been said that the history of the United Kingdom is sewn and woven in the threads of the Birthday Parade. Every part of the United Kingdom is represented through the five regiments of Foot Guards and their regimental Bands, and the symbolism of our island nation is everywhere, from shamrock to leeks, the Garter Star and the thistle.
Immediately following the parade on Horse Guards, Gun Salutes will be fired across the United Kingdom and a spectacular flypast by dozens of aircraft from the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force will soar over Buckingham Palace.
For all, this is a once in a lifetime event, to mark a milestone anniversary we may never see again.