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Gun salutes for first anniversary of The King and Queen's Coronation

Across the UK today, the British Army will celebrate the first anniversary of The King and Queen's Coronation by firing gun salutes and performing music.

In London, two regiments that routinely punctuate the nation’s most historical events with ceremonial gunfire, The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery and The Honourable Artillery Company, will each fire Royal Salutes in the capital at 12 noon and 1pm respectively. The Band of the Irish Guards will accompany The Royal Horse Artillery salute in Green Park.

Both regiments were responsible for firing the Coronation Guns to signal the exact moment the Crown touched The King’s head during the Coronation ceremony in Westminster Abbey one year ago.

41 Gun Royal Salute – Green Park

The soldiers, horses and Guns of The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery will ride out from their forward mounting base in central London, to position their guns for the salute in Green Park. The Gunners wear full a distinctive dress uniform which includes gold braided jackets and busby hats. The guns are the Regiment’s Colours (equivalent of an infantry regiment’s ceremonial flag with battle honours) and so are afforded due respect throughout the route. 

Shortly before midday, 71 horses, pulling six First World War era 13-pounder Field Guns over the grass, will quickly place the guns into position for the Royal Salute beside the six pre-positioned ammunition boxes.  The guns will be quickly detached, the horses escorted to a safe area, and, on the word of command, each of the six guns will fire blank artillery rounds at ten-second intervals until 41 shots have been fired, each sending a puff of white smoke into the air. The horses and riders will then collect the guns and escort them back through London to their temporary barracks. Throughout, The Band of the Irish Guards will provide musical accompaniment around the Salute.

The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery was formed and named by The King’s Grandfather, King George VI in 1947. 

The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery is a British Army mounted ceremonial unit that fires Royal Salutes on Royal Anniversaries and State Occasions, such as State Visits and Royal birthdays, and they provide a gun carriage and a team of black horses for State and Military Funerals.  Permanently based in Woolwich, The King’s Troop soldiers, famous throughout the world for their ceremonial excellence, will also serve operationally throughout their careers in the Royal Artillery, and in support of UK military operations when the need arises.

62 Gun Royal Salute – His Majesty’s Tower of London

Shortly after Midday, three 105mm Light Artillery Guns will be drawn by the Honourable Artillery Company (HAC) Regiment’s liveried Pinzgauer vehicles through The City, from Armoury House in Artillery Gardens (which has been the Regiment’s home since 1641), to The Tower of London. The Guns will be placed into position on Tower Wharf facing the River Thames by Army Reserve soldiers from the HAC.

At precisely 1pm, on the word of command, a 62 Gun Royal Salute will be fired, each round firing from one of the three Guns in turn, at ten second intervals, filling the wharf with white smoke, the sound reverberating from the Tower battlements, until 62 rounds have been fired. The Regiment will then recover the Guns and drive back to barracks. Many of the soldiers involved will then return straight back to their civilian jobs in the city, their dual role as Army Reservists complete.

Gun salutes will also take place at Edinburgh Castle in Scotland, Cardiff Castle in Wales, and at Hillsborough Castle in Northern Ireland.

In York's Museum Gardens, a 21-gun royal salute will be fired by a 4th Regiment Royal Artillery saluting troop of three light guns, with music provided by the Band of the Royal Yorkshire Regiment.