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The Queen's Cavalry -

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(generated from captions) AUTOMATIC GUNFIRE SCIMITAR HUMS The Household Cavalry has dual roles.

as her ceremonial bodyguard. 250 horses and men serve the Queen the other half of regiment At the same time, is ready to go to war. CANNONS BLAST This time on the Queen's Cavalry, the armoured regiment goes to town. you see one of these driving down It's not every day or through the town centre. to your local village Five weeks into riding school, for our learner riders? but will pride come before a fall I won't fall off. Oh, I'm pretty confident

witness a trooper in trouble. And Knightsbridge Barracks a dirty horse on parade. You're taking not bothered your arse. You've obviously Knightsbridge Barracks are home to two sister squadrons - the Household Cavalry's and the Blues and Royals. the Life Guards the exact same ritual. Every day follows are getting ready It's 6am and the Blues and Royals early-morning exercise, for their daily known as Watering Order. Major Mark Goodwin-Hudson Squadron leader is in command. because in the past It's called Watering Order

different water troughs in London. we used to ride out to all the very many water troughs left. Sadly there aren't thanks to an ancient privilege This is all possible granted to the Household Cavalry. anywhere we want to in London In the morning we can get by eight o'clock. as long as we're back east, south or west. So you can go as far north,

open spaces of Wormwood Scrubs. Today they're heading for the wide West London's most desirable areas. Mark's route leads the men to some of Exercise draw! Corporal Major Keiron Fortune, And for to very familiar territory. it's a return

I'm from West London anyway, of the operational regiment so whenever I've been out

and I come back here it's always nice, I feel at home. the streets of West London. Sort of going around up to the Scrubs area, Particularly going because that's where I'm from. memories of childhood come back, And, you know, the old happy playing football on the Scrubs and the horse is good fun. and now I'm up there with the lads have been up to the Scrubs before, A lot of these guys won't

a bit of a treat to get up there so it will be around Wormwood Scrubs and give the horses a good canter and then get back for breakfast. is the ideal way The 14 mile round trip demands of the ceremonial season. to keep the horses fit for the I think they love it. it's fun for them, It's good fresh air, than sitting in a stall. and it's got to be more interesting

start their army careers Traditionally, new troopers in the Windsor Riding School. of horsemanship in only 16 weeks. They are expected to master the art for the latest batch of new recruits. It's week five They've learned to trot, they've learned to canter, and they've learned to fall off.

their biggest challenge - jumping, Now, they face is par for the course. where hitting the ground The ride has started a kitty. in Cavalry slang, 'being binned', Each time someone falls off, to dig into their pocket. the victim is forced Well, this is the Been Binned Tin,

fall off the first time it's ?5. and how it works is when you a charity of our cause... Basically it goes towards (Soldiers laugh) TROOPER: Piss-up!

TROOPER: Night's out. Which is just a... Yeah, a night's out. celebrate all the bumps and bruises. Get some beers together and

two days into jumping, They may be only but already the coffers are swelling. How much in there? Forward, sit up! This is my washing money. And he's gonna give you the change. (Makes washing machine sound) is one of the few recruits Trooper Richie Medcalf who rode before he joined up. with any cash at all. He's confident he won't have to part relaxing and breathing. It's all about seat, You fall off when you tense up. gonna fall off no matter what If you tense up you're and I'm so chilled out... You are going to fall off, trust me. You will. I'm not gonna fall off. Everybody, everybody... you could be Frank Dettori, right, No matter,

and you will get binned. You're gonna get binned. I'm not gonna get binned. Tank, I'm not gonna get binned. it's becoming a costly exercise. But for some of the other riders confidence scale is Graham Thompson. At the other end of the because he's fallen off. Thommo owes some money He is our crash test dummy. Let go of your bloody rein. Sit up! underneath you You just feel this energy

on a cannonball. just like you're sitting that you're going to hospital. You just got to abandon yourself It's quite a frightening experience, even just a small jump like that is quite hard to get over. It's a real test of courage that. Thompson! Tall, shoulders back. And sit up! Right, halt! on their arse has got star jumps. Alright, next soldier to fall

but I will pay up, I will pay. I've not got any money on me, Oh, ?25-?30. How much is it? he'll never have to pay up. Cocky Medcalf remains convinced I'll not fall off. No, I'm pretty confident through without falling off. Medcalf thinks he's gonna make it I'll have him. I'll have him. In the jumping lane.

joggers have company. In West London, the early morning It's the cavalry. HORSES GALLOP After a gallop around the Scrubs for both men and horses. there's a welcome treat still live in West London Keiron Fortune's parents

with coffee and croissants. and have turned up It's become something of a tradition. Mrs Fortune, thank you. Thank you very much, We should do this more often. family military tradition. It's not the only We're not surprised he's in the army was in the army because his grandfather stationed at Windsor, and his uncle was in the Irish Guard

was in the army. and his great-grandfather There's no time for a second cup. The Blues and Royals must be back in Knightsbridge. After this they've got a full day of ceremonial duty. HORSES GALLOP

In the Windsor Riding School the 12 new recruits are in the jumping lane. But Lance-Corporal of Horse Lee Golder is in a mean mood and looking for donations to the bin pot. Come here. They've got to accept that when they get into that lane,

the horse is gonna go at mach 10 and they're gonna jump three fences.

And the quicker they accept that, then the easier it's going to be. What are you doing? The lane's that way. Everyone's paid into the binning bucket so far, with one notable exception - Medcalf. He's managed to remain firmly in the saddle. A fact he's been boasting about. Well done. He didn't fall off at all and he's started gloating about it. Which was probably his biggest downfalling.

And then he got into a conversation with one of the officers.

He said to me, "I'm gonna fall off," and I said, "No, no, no."

And then he said, "Right, up your money then." So he bought two for about 60 quid, so I says, "OK, fair enough. 60 quid." Maybe it's the size of the new wager, nearly half his weekly pay packet, but suddenly Medcalf's confidence dips. First time I did it, first jump I went high,

I did a very sneaky hang on. I came out the side of it, I was half on his neck and stayed on,

and at that point I knew I was coming off.

I started shaking and everything because I wasn't confident at all. He was shaking his head and he goes, "I shouldn't have made the deal. I shouldn't have made the deal." And then the next time he went over he came off and everyone just erupted. (Cheers) And I've just paid very dear for opening my gob. To teach him a little humility, Lance Corporal of Horse Lee Golder

sends Medcalf around again... ..without his horse. 60 quid is out in the pot. Makes a change, Medcalf. In London, the changing of the Queen's life guard is the Household Cavalry's most famous and repetitive role. It alternates daily between the two squadrons - the Blues and Royals and the Life Guards. At exactly 10am every single day, the guard is inspected by the Orderly Officer. Today it's the turn of Captain Rob Gibbs of the Blues and Royals. Good morning, sir. The Life Guard has formed up and ready for your inspection. Thank you, Corporal. Alright, sir. Thanks very much. This, the Queens official bodyguard,

will be on duty in front of London's tourists. The eyes of the world will be upon them, so Rob's inspection must be thorough. We need to be up to the required standard of sharpness, smartness and shininess, just to make sure that we maintain the standards of the British Army and what's expected of us. Good black kit.

So far, today's guard is making a good impression. Good boots. They are nice boots, well done. But for one trooper, Sam Bass, fresh from a week off, it's about to go horribly wrong.

Right, that headstall is absolutely disgusting.

Sir. Bass, you know the form on this. You know what to do. I shouldn't have to pick you up on something so schoolboy. You're taking a dirty horse on parade. It's not good, is it? No, sir. OK, you're not impressing me so far. Tarnished helmet, there's sweat on the inside of your boots. Your sword needs to go to the armourer and is covered in polish. How much time did you spend doing your kit? Six hours today, sir. No you didn't. I did, sir. You didn't. Well, you were probably on your mobile phone and smoking cigarettes for about five of that.

All of these men here so far put in a very good effort. You haven't. I'm just deliberating what punishment to give you. You've obviously not bothered your arse. I am not impressed of you today, Bass. OK, you are substandard by a long way. Sam Bass has a long day ahead, but old hand Commando has seen it all before. By the front, quick march.

About turn. 25 miles away in Windsor, the fighting half of the Household Cavalry is also going for a ride... their iron horses.

Richard Bentley's Scimitar Armoured Reconnaissance Vehicle has the equivalent of 190 horses under the bonnet. Today he's going for a road and cross-country test.

The 8-tonne Scimitar is a tricky drive on the roads. The driver has a very restricted view. Richard must be his eyes and ears. There's no rear-view mirror so I'm keeping the check on behind. I can see pretty much directly to the left and the right.

He's tunnel visioned in a way, because obviously he's lower down and staying in front of me. Most road users do generally tend to slow down when they see a vehicle like this. It's not every day you see one of these driving down to your local village or through the town centre. But as they approach Farnham they find themselves navigationally-challenged.

This doesn't look like the approach to the tank testing ground. Go straight up, mate, straight up. But straight up leads them straight down Farnham High Street.

What way are we going? Er... That's a bloody good question that is, mate. Do you know what? That is a good question. I'll just hog both lanes. Er, do you know what? I don't know. INTERVIEWER: Where are we, Richard? We're in the middle of Farnham Town Centre. As you can see. All the shops, pedestrians, traffic lights, car parks. Well, Farnham Park's right. You've not got aircon in this? No, this is the aircon, stick your head out. We're having photos taken now. Quick, decision time. Go right. Turning right... ..turns out to be wrong. Easy, easy.

Richard may have survived Bosnia but now he's snared in Farnham's deadly one-way system. Gerard, left, mate. A minute later, they're back where they started. Straight up, mate, and at the lights we go left. Back for another go, look. Re-shooting. The old people are waving. Go on, wave back. It's good like that.

Yeah, go left, mate. We'll go left. Left looks good, mate. BUGLE PLAYS REVEILLE In Knightsbridge, Captain Rob Gibbs has finished his inspection of the Queen's life guard.

Today, is a long guard. Which means Her Majesty is in residence and there's the officer, the Court Major and trumpeter going down, so that's an extra three men. Normally when Her Majesty is away it's a short guard, and that's only 12 men, so there's a few less. Today they do the handover at Horse Guards Parade with the Life Guards. The Life Guards will come back here and do a dismount. Chuck it, short guard, gentlemen. Draw your swords. There's been a sudden change at the Palace. Her Majesty's plans have obviously changed. When Her Majesty's plans change

it'll now change down to a short guard, so we'll have the Court Major not going on, without the officer, and there won't be the trumpeter going on. I think there'll be a few delighted people

not having to go on guard as well. HORSES TROT The baggage wagon is travelling down with the troops to Horse Guards and Major Mark Goodwin-Hudson has hitched a ride. This morning we're on the Guard Van and we're following the Queen's life guard and the Guard Van was donated by Queen Victoria so that all the baggage and the necessary bits of equipment that the guard needed can be taken down behind them

on the way to Horse Guards. The route leads them down Constitution Hill, past Buckingham Palace, where they salute the Monarch. Guard Van, eyes... ..right! Then it's on down the Mall towards Whitehall and Horse Guards Parade. They have to reach Horse Guards at 11am precisely. Timing is everything.

Fortunately they have a very good clock to rely on. And, of course, when you're riding on a cavalry black, holding your state sword in your right hand and you've got the reins in your left hand, you have no opportunity to look at your watch, so Big Ben is a key marker and your first real indication of how long you've got to get to Horse Guards.

Horse Guards is the official entrance to Buckingham Palace. The Queen's Life Guard have maintained their vigil here for over 250 years. Every day, hundreds of visitors come to see the Changing of the Guard. For most tourists this is a unique experience in London's living history.

But for the commander of the regiment, Colonel Hammond Massey, it's a daily event. His office overlooks the parade ground. From here he keeps an eagle eye on his troops. To me it symbolises the continuity of our system, our head of state. It does honour, if you like, to our head of state, the Queen.

And I hope it is showing the rest of our countrymen

the embodiment of excellence and, I hope, devotion to duty, attention to detail, of which we in the House at Cavalry are very proud. The barracks, known as the Chits, were built in 1742.

Ever since then they've been home to the sovereign's Life Guard. For the next 24 hours, Horse Guards will be home to these men and horses of the Blues and Royals. The departing Life Guards report on the events of the last shift. It's been quiet, sir, apart from one incident I had with a certain young lady. Really? About 15 minutes after I got on guard, the guards had just taken over. The alarm was rung in the box, so I went out to see what was going on and it was a woman harassing the sentry in the box and the civilians. I asked the sentry what she was doing, she was just swearing at him, calling him all kinds of names and the civilians names, she said she was gonna pull all their eyes out. Really? So I asked her to leave. Did she obey you? No, not really. She just pulled her tongue out at me. Really? She didn't seem all there actually.

So I got one of the local police officers to have a word and they moved her on. That's it for another round. SCIMITAR REVS Corporal of Horse Richard Bentley has escaped Farnham.

He's made it to the tank testing ground. Because they can be called into action at short notice, the Household Cavalry have to check

their vehicles are always ready for combat.

Over the last 30 years the Scimitar has seen action in the Falklands, Bosnia, Kosovo and the Gulf. They're quite good when you think about how old they are.

I mean, they've been going since the '60s. But you can take these things anywhere, they're gleaming. I mean, they're fantastic. In combat, four Scimitars are grouped together in a self-sufficient troop. All the kit we need to maintain the vehicle and the weapons systems, camouflage and concealment kit, everything, and all the aides we might use like thermal optics and stuff like that. Our own personal weapons, our own personal kit. Food, water, ammunition, it's all contained on that vehicle, so we can basically live off that vehicle. In some cases you might have to be on it for, say, five days. It's imperative the small crew are able to work closely together. Well, three-man crew. Driver's sitting there where Shane's been sitting this morning and this afternoon.

Myself will be sitting on the left-hand side up here, and on the far right-hand side we'd have the gunner. The Scimitar is armed with a 30mm cannon that can take out similar armoured vehicles at ranges of nearly 1 mile. It also has a machine gun that can fire 750 rounds per minute.

MACHINE GUN FIRES In the last Gulf War, one actually took on two Iraqi main battle tanks and a troop carrier, coming out the victor. In the army, comfort is not a priority. When the Scimitar is fully loaded up there is not much room for anything else. The rounds we'd actually put, we've got stowage here for the main armament, the 30mm, and underneath here. If I pop that up and it slides forward. We can stow a total of 201 rounds of main armament.

We've got stowage racks behind the gunner and the commander, in the corners, and we've also got a rack we call the wine rack at the back here.

We put main armament rounds behind that netting in these slots here.

It is cramped in here, and as you can see I'm 6-foot-2 and there's not a lot of room down here. I mean, when all the kit's in here and onboard

and the bins are all full, there's actually there's probably not an ounce of space that you can put anything. We literally get stuff in every little nook and cranny we can. However, there's one item the British Army just can't do without. This little grey box here is the mainstay of the vehicle. Actually, BV, the Boiling Vessel. There's a tap here and all we do is to make a quick brew, just press the little button and then water comes out.

SCIMITAR REVS You get close as a crew. You get to know each other, get on each other's nerves now and again.

But we're all one big happy team at the end of the day, and that's when it's working well. It does show and it is good.

At Horse Guards, the ceremonial side of the Household Cavalry's duties is in full swing. Trooper Sam Bass, fresh from his grilling at the hands of Captain Gibbs, has an hour of mounted duty to contemplate the error of his ways. When the sun's out your helmet starts to hurt

towards the end of the hour and you're starting to sweat a lot. But, you know, you persevere through it and then afterwards you come back in. You feel good after you've done it as well. People pay compliments to you and stuff, so it's good.

Bass is lucky. He could be on foot duty for two hours, at the mercy of the tourists desperate for a souvenir of England. It's a lot harder as you're still on your feet for an hour, so you'll feel the effects a lot more. You can only say two things to them,

which is "Stay out of the Chits," and "Stand clear of the guard." People go to grab hold of you a lot more as well, so you get quite a few people grabbing hold of you, best that you don't want them to. Behind the scenes life is far more tranquil. But 100 years ago this was a much noisier place. Archaeologists recently found remains of a cockfighting pit in the building. Today the troopers are more likely to be found in the cookhouse,

or even snatching a rest between duties. But there's no let up for trooper Bass. Busy preparing for the second inspection of the day, he's got a moment to reflect on where it all went wrong. I've just come back from leave, three weeks off. So I've had three weeks at home chilling out. You know, getting used to civilian life again. And then I had to come back here. And I found out I was on Queen's the next day,

so I was cleaning my kit, and I tried... I think I just spent too much time on my boots, 'cause, you know, I just chucked them in my locker

before I went on leave. So, as you know, I reckon about... 'Cause I'm bound to them for about... I've got a month of this, so about third or fourth guard I'll be back into the routine. Just easily forget what you're taught. Bass is on Queen's Guard duty for the next month. But his long-term plans are more uncertain. I'm getting out after my four years. Because I joined the army 'cause I had my girlfriend pregnant. So we got engaged and I decided that I should stay out of trouble and join the army. It's always something I wanted to do as a kid. And as soon as I got in... I, sort of, I've done two years and I'm so much wiser.

I'm not the same person I was when I joined all that time ago. So, it's alright now. As soon as I get out I'll be able to find a nice job, I've got some qualifications now. Sort my life out and look after my kid. Corporal of Horse Peter Ireland comes up to check on Bass. He's a seasoned soldier and is well-drilled on the rigorous standards expected by Captain Rob Gibbs.

My shoes are probably better than your boots. They are better. They are. That's the way it happened. It's 3:45 and Rob arrives for the four o'clock inspection. He just has time for a special apple-bobbing treat for his favourite charger Sunningdale. For Bass, though, time is running out. So, how quickly you got to do local rules? You know, it's like, you can't do it as good as you do it if you were back at camp, can you? Yeah, you can. Speed, isn't it? I've got a routine. Yeah. Rob Gibbs' four o'clock inspection is part of a long tradition. It dates back to an incident

when no guards came out to salute Queen Victoria as she passed by. They were caught in their shirt sleeves drinking beer and playing cards. As punishment, she ordered that for 100 years at four o'clock every day the guard must be inspected. The tradition continues. This is Woodward, sir. Woodward?

Good lad. Yeah.

Yeah, it's a good opportunity to make sure that my naughty boys from the inspection this morning have rectified a few of their errors. Carry swords. Sir, four o'clock inspection is ready waiting for you, sir. Thank you, Corporal. For Sam Bass it's the moment of truth. A second bad showing will land him on a charge.

OK, let's not let yourself down here. Let's look smart. You're in the public eye.

Need to fix the cartouche box. OK, good improvement. Well done, Bass, it's good. A big improvement. Satisfied, Rob Gibbs heads back to Knightsbridge. Bass may have got away with it today but he has another month of these duties ahead of him. I don't know, I felt it was a little unfair on his behalf, but he was doing his job at the end of the day and the first man he saw, you learn from your mistakes and I'll take it with me on the next guard. Next time on the Queen's Cavalry. Full armour. Steel horses charge into battle. All those enemy to the north are to be hunted down and destroyed. And the new troopers put on their breastplates, preparing to guard the Queen for the very first time.

This is something that I've wanted to do for absolutely years, and to be a part of doing it now, it's spectacular. Closed Captions by CSI