Concept

King's Troop, Royal Horse Artillery

Summary
The King's Troop, Royal Horse Artillery, is a ceremonial unit of the British Army, quartered at Woolwich. It is a mounted unit and all of its soldiers are trained to care for and drive teams of six horses, each team pulling a First World War-era QF 13-pounder gun; six teams are used in the unit's Musical Drive. The Troop's duties include firing salutes on royal and state occasions, participation in parades, and the duties of the King's Life Guard at Horse Guards for one month each year. The unit provides the gun carriage and team of black horses for state funerals. The unit is most often seen providing gun salutes on state occasions in Hyde Park, and Green Park. After the Second World War, King George VI expressed the view that, following the mechanisation of the last batteries of horse-drawn artillery, a troop of horse artillery should be retained to take part in the great ceremonies of state. Accordingly the Riding Troop was reformed on 17 April 1946 at Shoeburyness as a six-gun Royal Horse Artillery battery for the Household Division. At the suggestion of Brigadier John Anquetil Norman, the King declared that the Riding Troop would be known as 'The King's Troop'. The King enacted his proclamation on 24 October 1947 by amending the page on the visitors' book by striking out the word "Riding" and inserting "King's". On her accession, Queen Elizabeth II declared that the name 'The King's Troop' would remain in honour of her father. On 6 September 1997, the coffin of Diana, Princess of Wales, was carried on a gun carriage by members of the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery. The King's Troop was for 65 years stationed at St John's Wood Barracks before it was relocated to Napier Lines (also known as King George VI Lines) at the traditional Royal Artillery Barracks at Woolwich in February 2012. Because of the greater distance from central London, the troop can no longer ride to many ceremonial events. Horses are transported by vehicle to stables in central London for appearances at Hyde Park, Buckingham Palace and elsewhere.
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