Page 12 - The Chapka 2016
P. 12

  The Presentation of the Guidon of the Royal Lancers (Queen Elizabeths’ Own)
The serving Regiment are the custodians of a rich and hard- earned reputation purchased with 258 Battle Honours, 27 Victoria Crosses and royal recognition reaching back through the ages. The Guidon embodies this and the spirit of the Regi- ment on one piece of crimson cloth, as well as linking the history of six antecedent regiments.
Throughout history guidons have been emblematic of a regi- ment’s loyalty; signifying the link between brothers-in-arms, the monarch, the nation and God. Carried by light cavalry regi- ments, the Guidon acted as both a guide on the battlefield and the symbolic heart of the Regiment. They were protected by elite and senior soldiers, and their loss or capture was unthink- able. The Guidon of The Royal Lancers is swallow-tailed with Queen Elizabeth II’s cypher centred on both sides. The corners of the Guidon carry eight historical and distinctive symbols; two represent the golden thread between the British Army and The Royal Lancers – the White Horse of Hanover and the initials of the Regiment; the other six are symbols of each of the anteced- ent regiments. On the reverse, underneath the cypher, is the
regimental badge of The Royal Lancers; a pair of thigh bones surmounted by a silver Death’s Head upon two lances crossed in saltire with a scroll below, inscribed ‘OR GLORY’. On the obverse, the Sphinx – the first symbol to be used to represent service in a campaign – marks the commitment to the Egypt campaign of 1801. The Guidon was presented by Her Majesty to the Regiment on 5 May 17 in Windsor Castle and is the culmina- tion of the amalgamation of the Queen’s Royal Lancers and the 9th/12th Royal Lancers (Prince of Wales’s).
In the run up to the big day, the Regiment’s drill instructors oversaw detailed preparations in command troop hanger which had been transformed into an exact copy of St. George’s Hall, Windsor. The rehearsals were comprehensive and keen eyes scrutinised sword and lance drill, and uniform and polish.
The day began with a PT session in Home Park, a unique hon- our granted by Her Majesty. The Royal Lancers were to be the first formed group of soldiers to run in the private gardens that surround Windsor Castle. Later that morning Lancers, past and

   10   11   12   13   14