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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Interesting evening out last night. I was offered tickets for the dress rehearsal of the Windsor Castle Royal Tattoo held, unsurprisingly, in the grounds of Windsor Castle.



Naturally I jumped at the chance and thought I would share a few photos of what can only be described as a fine event.

It's on for the next few days if anyone is interested and it is splendid fun:

http://www.windsortattoo.com/

There were effectively two stages, one for music:



and one for tanks, horses, cavalry, marching bands, artillery, dancers, soldiers and hovercraft:



After a few 'warm up acts' the event kicked off with a military band. I'm afraid that this is all a bit vague. Programs were not available and my military band knowledge is a tad sketchy. So rather than get it wrong and insult these fine troops I would rather simply be vague. Anyone who can fill in the details, it would be very welcome.





Suddenly the marching band was gone and the arena was filled with horses:



Not just horses but, horses...



towing cannons!



in whirling, thundering formations:



Military tattoos are, by tradition, held at night.



Which is no excuse for the fact that the Omlex has returned (again)



After cantering around in increasingly complex and collision inviting patterns for a while (did I mention the cannons?)



they suddenly, and I mean suddenly, paused and then there were half a dozen vintage cannon deployed and ready to fire!



Talk about rapid deployment!



then they turned around in less time than it takes to write the words:



seconds later they were hitched up and gone. It makes me fear for Napoleon's safety!



Moments later, the hellish wail/delightful tone (delete as applicable) of bagpipes struck up...



and increased in intensity...



before finally fading away:



to be replaced by what was, for me, the highlight of the evening: the cavalry!



By now it was fully dark and so my poor old camera was struggling to deal with fast moving shots in low light. However, it gave rise to some lovely inadvertent images.

The skill in handling the horses was astonishing:



whether just standing around giving your horse a rest:



being used as an obstacle by your comrades:



galloping the length of the arena in a full charge



or standing on the back of your horse:



I have no idea what they are doing but it looked fantastic:



One of the disadvantages of being directly opposite the Royal Box:



was that pretty well everything happened backwards for us.



and then they were gone at a gallop to be replaced by a Dutch drum and drill display team who I swear were photo shopped such was the precision:








Just when I had reached the point of thinking that I had slipped into some sort of highly orchestrated timewarp the lights went out:



as the Royal Marines arrived:



with a combat hovercraft!



This is a concept I had a little trouble grasping: a hovercraft that is designed for combat. I took a hovercraft once as a child and I have to admit after that experience I never imagined hey wouldbe used for anything beyond mass regurgitation experiments. but here it is:





disgorging an ever increasing number of troops before dissapearing with a litheness that caught me out rather.



just in time for another equally fine marching band.



At which point, dear reader, my camera ran out of juice. However, the rest of the evening was equally splendid and I really do recommend it to anyone at all.

Comments welcomed.
 

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Looks VERY good indeed although I can't help feel sorry for the blokes who've been jiffed to take part in this. Whilst we're generally quite good at cuffing things and briefing off the back of a fag packet (or is that just me?), an event like this will have been a long time in the planning and preparation. If this was the dress rehearsal I shudder to think how much time and effort has gone into practicing for this event. We're busy enough as it is. On a plus note though, if this event gets the same level of public support that the old Royal Tournament used to get then all good and well. Nice pics by the way! b-)
 

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Thanks for sharing, Matt. I had the good fortune to attend a Military Tatoo at the castle in Edinburgh. An incredible event, and the lone piper in the parapet at the end was one of the most moving things I have ever seen. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.
 

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That must've been an interesting night for you Matt, full of fun:)

the guys doing acrobats with the horses reminds me of wranglers we had here a couple of hundred years ago. They knew how to ride a horse...while standing on'em.;-)



 

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Looks like a great evening M4tt. I must have seen all of those party pieces at least once over the years at various events, but they still make my hair stand on end.

Nigel

PS. Except the bagpipes.......:-x
 

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What a fantastic event! I would love to have the opportunity to attend. Thanks for sharing all those great pictures.

PS - I love the bagpipes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
As always Neil, that's spot on. As soon as I read it I remembered. That means the others must have been the household cavalry
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well the tickets are on sale now, there are places for all but Saturday and it doesn't start until 8:30 so I'd get moving!

I'm keeping my own counsel about the bagpipes!
 

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One of the events I must attend at least once before I die. I've heard nothing but great things about it. Those pics are just awesome, mate! Thanks for sharing...:-!
 

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How completely cool that was.

The pageantry looked amazing - British military history condensed into one show!

Hovercraft was pretty off the hook.

Enjoyed how the photos were exposed to catch the motion, too.
 

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Excellent!

Very enjoyable post - thanks!

Best,
Wallace
 

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from a yank, on the other side of the pond, that was a splendid show! |>

your pics with the blurred the edges and frozen subject are really great. even snuck in a wrist shot of the omlex, what a well travelled watch!

those redcoats really do stand out don't they?
 

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Absolutely incredible, M4tt! As an army brat, I'm a sucker for military ritual and ceremony. Thanks for sharing.

Jeannie
 

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Glad to see pageantry is still alive and well over there :-!

I was in Edinburgh a couple years ago just before the tattoo but wasn't able to stay long enough to see it :-(
 
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