Household Cavalry Museum: the history of the royal cavalry

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Household Cavalry Museum: The History of the Royal Cavalry

Household Cavalry is a small museum presenting the history of the Royal Guard Cavalry from its origins in 1661 to the present day. It is located at Horse Guard Parade, located not far from St James Park and the Winston Churhchill Headquarters.

Household Cavalry Museum presents the uniforms of the guards, traces the history of the regiment through an interactive exhibition and allows you to discover the stables.

Take advantage of the audio guide in French to learn all the anecdotes and traditions of the oldest regiment in the British army.


History of Household Cavalry Museum


The Household Cavalry was formed in 1661 by order of King Charles II, during the English Civil War (1642-51) to ensure order and protect the monarch.

This regiment settled in Whitehall Palace, the largest palace in Europe at that time. Following a fire in 1698, the latter was replaced in 1753 by the current Horse Guards building.

The Household Cavalry is made up of 2 regiments:

  • the Life Guards : Formed in 1660, the Life Guards were made up of loyal gentlemen who accompanied King Charles II during his exile.
    The uniform of the Life Guards is distinguished by their red tunics with white feathers on their helmets.
  • the Blues & Royals : created in 1969 by King Charles II, they are the merger of two cavalry regiments: the Royal Horse Guards and the Royal Dragoons.
    The uniform of the Blues and Royals is distinguished by their blue tunics with red feathers on their helmets.



Today the Household Cavalry is considered the most prestigious regiment in the British Army, due to its role as the monarch's official bodyguard. They also participate in big events such as royal weddings, Jubilee celebration, Queen's birthday in ceremony Trooping the Colour, preceded by Beating Retreat.

In addition to their symbolic roles, the soldiers have high-level training in order to participate in external operations as was the case in the former Yugoslavia or in Afghanistan.

Prince William and Prince Harry were both officers of the Blues & Royals from 2006 to 2008.


Visiting the Household Cavalry Museum


The visit presents on the one hand the history of the regiment and on the other hand the ceremonial uniforms of the Life Guards and Blues & Royal with their helmets, swords and musical instruments.



During the visit of the old stables, the visitor can try on the uniforms of the Horse Guards made up of breastplates, jackets and helmets and put themselves in the shoes of a rider!

During your visit you will learn that the horses of the Horse Guards are black Irish traits, bred in Ireland or sometimes in Holland. They must be 16 feet and 2 inches, or about 1m68. These horses are chosen for their good temperament.

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