Scandinavian Ceremonial Exchanges by Major B F Woolf, The Life Guards
he Commanding Officer and both sabre Squadron Leaders were invited to attend the State Escort of Her Majesty Margrethe II of Denmark in the town of Langeland on Thursday, 8th September 2016. The visit was an excellent opportunity to share best practice and foster growing relations between international ceremonial units. After some initial delays we departed Hyde Park Barracks and, after a surprisingly smooth check-in at the airport found that Wetherspoons was already full of our countrymen drinking beer at 0600hrs. The fry-up was subsequently off the books and we had to settle for a delightful Pret breakfast bap (or two). In contrast to a British visit with endless admin instructions we turned up at Copenhagen airport without a clue of what the visit would entail except that we would be meeting a man called Stig. We were duly greeted by Stig, a retired Major, who was Denmark’s answer to our own Regimental Adjutant, who had the whole plan in his head.
If Tuborg did Mounted Rehearsals...
Whilst not particularly different to daily exercise at HCMR, it was inspiring to see Maj A G R Owen RHG/D assigned a drum horse in the morning to ensure he had an easy ride. After a quick tour of the local area and lashings of pickled herring and aquavit with our incredibly knowledgeable host, we returned again to the stables to ride with the Regiment on their final rehearsal for the Escort. It highlighted a huge difference in the way our regiments rehearse and perform. The rehearsal had no road closures or
LG Sqn Leader more at home on a submarine than a horse
police escorts and they moved freely through the town without any due disturbance or worry. It was refreshing to see the general public given such close access to the military. One of the main improvements the Sqn Leaders wish to export back to HCMR, however, is the tradition of finishing the rehearsal with an ice cold Tuborg (or Carlsberg) on top of one’s horse. Wednesday finished with a visit to a Cold War fort and,
The temporary stables in Langeland
We were quickly whisked off to the Guard Hussar camp to visit their stables and armoured vehicles before moving to Langeland were the Regiment had already deployed in preparation for the Escort. That evening the Hussars had arranged for their equivalent of the Musical Ride to perform for the local town. It was an excellent show of horsemanship and culminated with the riders (all female) jumping whilst trying to catch a pint of beer and slashing at watermelons with their swords - food for thought Riding Master? The next day we were given the opportunity to exercise the Danish horses and refresh ourselves after a slightly overenthusiastic evening in the NCOs ‘Mess Wagon’ (which resembled the drinking halls of Valhalla plus the occasional insert of Blue Leader’s sea shantying).
56 ■ Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
The Danish Guards Hussar after their escort