Trooping the Colour: training in keeping the line straight?

#1
(Delurking civvie alert! Probably wrong forum to boot.)

Do those taking part in the Trooping of the Colour on Horseguards Parade train in keeping a straight line?

Like many, I enjoy watching the Trooping of the Colour every year, though I don't think my uncle ever took part. The way the TV cameras are placed make it very evident that while the troops do march in straight lines, they do not stand in straight lines. The lines of troops wave about considerably:




Quite apart from the poor soul who has collapsed, you can clearly see that none of the three lines are straight, with the right-hand rank (the officers?) egregiously out of line.

I'm aware that returning to a straight line is not easy, and that regiments don't have the numbers that America and China do to ensure exact matching for height, pace, shoe size, etc. I know that the trooping isn't done for the TV spectator, but it is, nevertheless, a spectacle on TV. But do you train in this regard? Is anything done to assist this? I've never noticed discreet lines in the gravel, for instance.

Now, where's that bomb shelter? :)
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
#2
(Delurking civvie alert! Probably wrong forum to boot.)

Do those taking part in the Trooping of the Colour on Horseguards Parade train in keeping a straight line?

Like many, I enjoy watching the Trooping of the Colour every year, though I don't think my uncle ever took part. The way the TV cameras are placed make it very evident that while the troops do march in straight lines, they do not stand in straight lines. The lines of troops wave about considerably:




Quite apart from the poor soul who has collapsed, you can clearly see that none of the three lines are straight, with the right-hand rank (the officers?) egregiously out of line.

I'm aware that returning to a straight line is not easy, and that regiments don't have the numbers that America and China do to ensure exact matching for height, pace, shoe size, etc. I know that the trooping isn't done for the TV spectator, but it is, nevertheless, a spectacle on TV. But do you train in this regard? Is anything done to assist this? I've never noticed discreet lines in the gravel, for instance.

Now, where's that bomb shelter? :)
In July 1982, 15th/19th The King's Royal Hussars received a new guidon from the Colonel in Chief, HRH The Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon, CI, GCVO, GCStJ.

We started training in February. The RSM went to Trooping The Colour and returned with one of those newfangled VCR thingies. He made us watch by squadron and made it abundantly clear that raggedy-arsed lines might be acceptable for the Foot Guards, but he was having none of it.

We done good, he told us afterward.

Seems nothing changes in the Foot Guards.
 
#5
It's very difficult to maintain your dressing whilst wearing a Busby.

ETA: Blast! beaten to it already.
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
#6
It's very difficult to maintain your dressing whilst wearing a Busby.
As if a foot guard would know the first thing about drill in a busby, busby being an item of hussar headdress, unlike the guards' bearskin.
 
#9
Glance out the corner of your eyes without turning your head when marching. Can be very difficult as a large auteration by you can cause the line to curve as others adjust to your move a bit like breaking on the motorway with the ripple effect. It can be a real bugger when slow marking and your toe catches the ground. When in line and standing still the line is dressed from the right and normally you are looking for toes in line (toe the line). There is a drill movement to size the company so that the tall are on the flanks adn the dwarfs like me are in the middle.
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
#10
You call wah, I call boring after so many weak attempts down the years to cover up a lack of knowledge of traditional army headdress that gets boring very quickly.

I call BORING and UNFUNNY.
 
#11
I did a couple of parades which included the Advance in Review Order (ie the long line):

IIRC it's something like "Company will Advance, Left (or right) Turn" which brings the company into a three rank line from the usual three file column.

The marker has to keep the pace steady while everyone dresses on the person to their right (or left, depending on wetherit will be an eyes left or right). It is tricky and the line has a tendency to bend in and out while on the move. You do need to practice it though.

Two hundred years ago it is how the infantry advanced into battle...


 
#12
You call wah, I call boring after so many weak attempts down the years to cover up a lack of knowledge of traditional army headdress that gets boring very quickly.

I call BORING and UNFUNNY.
You forgot to poke your tongue out.
 
#13
As if a foot guard would know the first thing about drill in a busby, busby being an item of hussar headdress, unlike the guards' bearskin.
As if a Hussar would know to capitalise there own nomenclature. <smiley face with a wink, my emoticon thing isn't working.>
;) It's working again. Yay!
 
#16
You have no idea how difficult it is to march about stamping and shouting loudly whilst wearing a heavy tunic and a wicker covered bearskin and keep everything all squared up and yet you don't think it's straight enough as an ex wooden top I would be happy to drop by pull your underwear over your head and punch really hard in the middle of the face until you knew better.
I hope this has been helpful
 
#17
What reason would they need to be in exact parallel 'lines'?

You mentioned US, China, they have made up show drill. The Drill movements you see on the Trooping are real and have been done for the last 300 years of the British Army. That's why it looks good and real.
 
#18
You have no idea how difficult it is to march about stamping and shouting loudly whilst wearing a heavy tunic and a wicker covered bearskin and keep everything all squared up and yet you don't think it's straight enough as an ex wooden top I would be happy to drop by pull your underwear over your head and punch really hard in the middle of the face until you knew better.
I hope this has been helpful
Said with feeling.

( I'm still shaking with laughter )
 
#19
Not Regt. but have done ceremonial. Was always told to glance sideways and look for the tip of the chin of the guy next door but one.
 
#20
Wearing a feather bonnet with tails hanging down and swaying back and forth was always a treat whilst trying to keep proper dressing.
 

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