Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist
poliphilo

Trooping The Colour

A young guardsman collapsed in the heat. I only know this from newspaper accounts because the TV cameras very cleverly avoided showing the incident.

It must be foul having to parade in 80 degree heat wearing headgear designed for the Crimean winter.

Those bearskins! Victorian soldiers were actually expected to fight in them. Crickey!

The ceremony itself goes back to a time when flags served as rallying points for soldiers scattered on the battlefield. The "trooping of the colour" was about parading the regimental flag in front of the men so they knew what it looked like. I didn't know that before.

The wonderful gold uniforms worn by the mounted musicians have hardly changed since the late 17th century, the silver kettle drums were a gift from William IV, the household cavalry wear uniforms Queen Victoria would have recognised, the shiny guns being pulled behind the limbers were fired in anger during the Great War...

Time is defied, informed that it doesn't actually apply in situations like this. That's what we mean by "tradition". And let's throw a little anachronism into the mix- Victorian bearskins and red jackets but modern automatic weapons. The Queen is in her twentieth century granny gear, the Dukes of Edinburgh and Kent, Colonels of Regiments, wear top hats...
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