Insight into the daily lives of the troopers of the Household Cavalry, the British Army's most senior regiments. The horsemen practice for the state opening of Parliament - an exercise that takes place during the dead of night. New recruits learn to ride the hard way at Windsor, and the armoured division gets into a fire fight with the Paras.
The Princess Elizabeth Cup sees troopers compete to be the smartest in the Household Cavalry. Recruits seeking promotion attend gruelling tests involving live rounds and grenades, and the trainee horse-riders attempt their first canter.
A trooper is punished during the Queen's Life Guards' rigorous 4pm daily inspection, a ritual that began after a poor turn-out for Queen Victoria. The armoured regiment heads for Farnham and manages to get a tank lost in the town's one-way system, while the trainee horsemen start a kitty during their training - paying £5 every time they fall off.
The armoured divisions visit Canada for a mock battle, in which conditions are exactly as expected during a war - except lasers are used instead of live ammunition. Back in London, the trainee troopers don their breastplates as the ceremonial season begins, and prepare to guard the Queen for the first time.
Stories of famous horses from the regiment's past, including Sefton, the mount wounded by an IRA bomb. The newest equine member of the troop, Freddy, is gently handled when he is ridden for the first time. The trainee tank drivers' tests, however, are far more gruelling, as they take the vehicles cross-country while learning to drive for war.
Princess Anne discusses preparations for the Queen's Birthday Parade, as the Knightsbridge Barracks undergo last-minute rehearsals. Meanwhile, the trainees in the riding school come under pressure as classes intensify, and their instructor struggles to ensure all candidates make the grade.
The trainee troopers prepare for their final riding exam over one of the Army's toughest courses. Originally hopeless horseman Glenn is apprehensive - as is Adrian Van Loon, whose kit often fails to meet the rigorous standards. Gunners from the armoured regiment practise on the firing range with live ammunition, and the Household Cavalry's historian talks about their role in the battle of Waterloo.
After passing their riding course - one of the toughest in the country - the new troopers graduate. The latest additions to the regiment parade in full ceremonial uniform to mark the occasion - but the last such outing of the season also provides a chance for the soldiers to reflect on fallen comrades in conflicts from World War Two to Iraq.