The Queen riding at Trooping the Colour
Eight year old Molly Walkling was perplexed as to the lack of women in the Household Calvary, so she decided to write Her Majesty a letter. She never imagined she would receive a reply and therefore was shocked when the correspondence came on the famous Buckingham Palace letterhead.After a visit to the Household Calvary Musuem in Whitehall, the eight year old horse lover and rider wrote her letter to Her Majesty. “I am writing to ask why women are not allowed to join the royal cavalry? Because when I am older I would like to train there,” Molly wrote, according to The Express. Within days, a reply from the Royal Household arrived in the mail letting Molly know her question had been forwarded to Defence Secretary Phillip Hammond.
Not long after the initial letter from Buckingham Palace arrived, a second letter, this time from the Ministry of Defence, had arrived through Molly’s door. The MOD invited young Molly to tour the Royal Barracks located in Hyde Park. “We had an absolutely fantastic tour and Molly was treated like a superstar. She even met one of the horses that pulled the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s carriage at their wedding” Molly’s mother Jane was quoted as saying in The Express.
The British Household Cavalry consists of two regiments: the Life Guards and the Blues and Royals, which Royal Horse Guards and 1st Dragoons are part of. The Household Cavalry is a regiment in the British Army dating back to 1660. They are recognised as the Queen’s personal bodyguard.
The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment is a cavalry battalion of the British Army with both operating and ceremonial duties. They perform ceremonial duties on State and Royal occasions including that of the Sovereign’s Escort, seen at Her Majesty’s Birthday Parade, known as Trooping the Colour, every June. The regiment is part of the Queen’s Life Guard at Horse Guards in London.
There is not a restriction against women from joining the Household Cavalry although the Ministry of Defence depiction of the unit is clear that women are disqualified from the job.
“A unique job calls for special soldiers: young men who can adapt themselves to the added responsibility and variety that a career in the Household Cavalry offers,” The Ministry of Defence website clearly states. Dig a bit deeper on the website and you will discover that descriptions for the Household Cavalry Officer, Household Cavalry Soldier and others are male only jobs.
Perhaps Molly’s letter might change makeup of the Household Cavalry, someday.
photo credit: Leonard Bentley via photopin cc
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