Date: Monday March 16, 2020 at 8:26am
On Tuesday 17th March 2020 equestrian experts The King’s
Troop Royal Horse Artillery will replace the Foot Guards as the Windsor Castle
Guard. It’s the first time the unit has
been tasked with the role since 2008.
The move is part of the British Army’s new policy of
integration which helps soldiers to work more closely together, fostering
understanding of each other’s roles and duties. As well as enjoying the
variety of new tasks, the Royal Artillery will be helping to deliver a vital
service for the nation for two weeks in March.
They’ve been rehearsing the hundreds of complex ceremonial
moves and orders of command since Christmas, aided by those ceremonial icons of
the Palace Forecourts, Number 7 Company Coldstream Guards. But the Woolwich Gunners won’t be allowed to
take on the challenge until they have passed a rigorous inspection by senior
staff of the Household Division including the Brigade Major, Lieutenant Colonel
Guy Stone. Only then can they be
declared “fit for role” and ready to take up their duties as the Queen’s
It is a major change of responsibilities but huge honour for
the unit more used to delivering ceremonial Gun Salutes for Royal Anniversaries
and State events as their Commanding Officer Major Victoria Flood explained:
“We are extremely privileged and
honoured to have this opportunity of providing the Guard for Windsor Castle.
This not being the soldiers’ primary job, they have worked incredibly hard
preparing themselves for this public duty whilst still training for their
normal equestrian ceremonial role.”
Ceremonial and public duties are held in high regard by the
British Army and instil the men and women charged with undertaking them the
discipline necessary to excel when they return to their operational roles.
Gunners have been involved in almost every battle and
operation the Army has fought since 1716 and are active across the globe
protecting our rights, freedoms and working with our allies for a more stable,
peaceful world. The Royal Artillery is
no longer granted battle honours, instead it has the motto ‘Unique’ which means
“everywhere” and their Colours are their Guns.
The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery will be supported throughout
their duties in Windsor with music by the Bands of the Household Division.