The Household Cavalry comprises an extraordinary mix of men, animals and weaponry, combined in one unique regiment. For the last six months, film-makers have been allowed unprecedented access to Britain's most senior regiment. The Life Guards and the Blues and Royals are the Queen's traditional bodyguards. One week they could be on horseback, escorting the Sovereign down The Mall; the next moment they might be patrolling downtown Basra in their tanks. This major series provides the viewer with a fascinating insight into the regiment's ceremonial and military duties, as well as examining its 350 year history. In the centre of London, only 100 yards from Harrods, nearly 250 horses spend their lives serving the Queen. Knightsbridge barracks is a constant hive of ceremonial activity. We follow the stories behind the year's ceremonial season of eight major parades. The foreground scenes of parades may be familiar, but for the first time viewers will see in depth the effort, humour, anguish and hard work that goes into staging them. History, tradition and royalty form just part of the human and equine stories behind the 'Queen's Cavalry'. Before they joined the regiment, 95% of all Household Cavalry troopers had never ridden before. We follow one ride of rookies through riding school. Arguably this is the army's toughest course. It's certainly the school of hard knocks as these 18 year-olds learn to ride and fall off from scratch. In only 16 weeks they are transformed from 'sacks of spuds' into accomplished troopers riding in full state kit - jackboots, plumed helmet and sword. The other half of the Household Cavalry consists of the armoured regiment based in Windsor. This year we have been on manoeuvres with them; there is virtual warfare on Canada's Great Plains with Britain's main battle group. We look at street fighting, and the deadly art of fire fighting with live ammunition and real grenades.
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