Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Regiment Helps to Guard a Long-Running Tradition

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Regiment Helps to Guard a Long-Running Tradition

Article excerpt

Byline: DARREN KELSO Reporter darren.kelso@reachplc.com

THE North East's own Guards regiment, the Coldstream Guards, will tomorrow morning take centre stage for the annual Trooping the Colour ceremony in front of the Queen, thousands of cheering spectators and millions of TV viewers around the world.

This year's ceremony at Horse Guards Parade falls on June 9, a date synonymous with the famous Tyneside song the Blaydon Races, which is traditionally played by the band of the Coldstream Guards during Trooping the Colour.

The Coldstreamers, who are active servicemen and recently arrived back from exercises in the jungles of Belize, will take part in the centuriesold tradition that marks the reigning monarch's official birthday, with the precise drill movements and overall pageantry famous around the world.

The oldest regiment in continuous service in the British Army, dating back to Oliver Cromwell's time, the Coldstream Guards - which traditionally recruit soldiers from the North East - are famed for their immaculate turnout and ceremonial prowess, but as a dual-role battalion they are equally busy with operational training and duties.

Formed as George Monck's Regiment as part of the New Model Army by order of Cromwell, after aiding the restoration of the monarchy in 1660, they were re-formed as Royal Troops in the Lord General's Regiment of Foot Guards.

They have formed part of the Sovereign's Household Troops ever since.

As a Foot Guards Regiment, the Coldstream Guards are involved in state ceremonial and public duties at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, St James's Palace and The Tower of London.

But as a frontline operational lightrole infantry battalion, they are also on constant readiness to deploy when needed at home or abroad.

The battalion recently went through a rigorous process to select and train elite soldiers for its specialist platoons and later this year they will deploy to Kenya on exercise and to the Falkland Islands on duty. …

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