Happy 2nd birthday Your Majesty
Installé en Corrèze, Mark Preece propose cette chronique à tous les amoureux de la langue de Shakespeare.
« Some 72 years ago, nearly to the day, in Tulle, in the Corrèze department, and subsequently at Oradoursurglane, the German Panzer division “Das reich” massacred local populations on their way North to help defend against the invader. A few days earlier, the British Army’s oldest and senior regiment, the Life Guards, had landed in Normandy along with others to help free Europe of the Nazi invasion. This saturday, they, along with the rest of the Household Division, the Sovereign’s personal troops, will be parading in Horse guards parade at the occasion of the Queen’s official birthday. This ceremony, before it became the moment to mark the respect and love of a nation for it’s monarch, had a specific task, that of “Trooping the Colour”. The “Colour” or the ceremonial flag of each regiment was the rallying point during battle. As the army in the 17th century often consisted of pressed men who were a never ending rotation of “canon fodder”, the regimental banner was paraded regularly in order that it might be easily recognised. It is a great honour to be the standard bearer of the day. For weeks, the chosen Ensign trains hard as he has to carry the heavy flag for a long time and in various positions. The five foot regiments, the Grenadier, Coldstream, Scots, Irish and the Welsh guards have to stand for hours before and during the ceremony, wearing their famous “Bearskins”, a trophy earned at Waterloo in 1815, that weigh approximately one kilo. Many hours are spent making sure that uniforms are perfect and that the boots have that unique mirror “spit and polish” finish for the Queen’s review. The troops march to the sound of stirring fast and slow military marches played by the combined bands of the Household Division. The Household Cavalry also parades with their own mounted band. After the parade, the Queen rides down the Mall to “Buck House” and from the balcony watches the flypast by the Royal Air Force and then ....... has a cup of tea ! »