Paris was treated to a display of pomp and pageantry on Sunday (22 June ) of a sort the city has not seen for many years.
Paris was treated to a display of pomp and pageantry on Sunday (22 June ) of a sort the city has not seen for many years. Despite grey skies and a light drizzle, thousands of Parisians gathered at the Arc de Triomphe to watch a parade by a mounted band and quadrille of the British Household Cavalry and the King's Troops of the Royal Horse Artillery.
The cavalry -- dressed in traditional red uniforms and plumed brass helmets -- attended a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the unknown Warrior before parading with gun-carriages through the arc de Triomphe and along the wide Champs Elysees to the tune of Elgar's 'pomp and Circumstance" march."
The colourful British troops will remain Paris for a week, performing nightly a mounted quadrille and high-speed manoeuvres as part of Paris' two-month gala summer festival in the beautiful Tuileries Gardens.
The festivities began in May with a performance by one of France's last and most famous circuses... and was followed by a series of successful and wall-assorted events, including outdoor ballet, classical concerts, military displays, songs and dance.
Active support for the festival has come from President Valery Giscard d'Estaing, who -- shortly after taking office last year -- announced he wanted more public occasions, more dancing and music in the streets to rejoice the hearts of France.
SYNOPSIS: The Arc de Triomphe in Paris ... and on Sunday, France's world-famous landmark was the scene of a display of pomp and ceremony ... in typical British style. Troops from Britain's Household Cavalry and the King's Troop of the Royal Horse Artillery attended a short ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior.
Dressed in traditional red uniforms and polished and plumed brass helmets, the British cavalry contingent brought a touch of brilliant colour to the grey French morning. But even the drizzle didn't stop thousands of eager Parisians lining the square for the ceremony.
After the sombre strains of the 'Last Post" had died away, an officer from the Cavalry brigade stepped forward to lay a wreath of poppies on the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior in memory of British and French troops killed in the two world wars. British and French veterans' associations were also in attendance.
Once the commemoration ceremony was over, the cavalry marched through the Arc de Triomphe... as the troops of emperor Napoleon had done to mark his conquest of Europe. To the tune of Elgar's impressive 'pomp and Circumstance" march, they paraded in colourful procession down the wide Champs elysees to Paris's beautiful Tuileries Gardens.
The Royal Horses Artillery Troops followed ... dragging the heavy gun-carriages they use in their high-speed ceremonial manoeuvres. Together with the Household Cavalry, the mounted Artillery will be delighting spectators each night this week with special displays in the Tuileries Gardens.
It's all part of paris's two-month gala festival featuring a wide-ranging assortment of events throughout the summer months. President valery Giscard d'Estaing has given active support to ensure this year's festivities are more entertaining than ever before.