British troops rehearse their roles ahead of royal wedding

Members of the British Armed Forces took to the streets of Windsor Thursday to rehearse their roles ahead of the ...

Posted: May 17, 2018 3:59 PM
Updated: May 17, 2018 3:59 PM

Members of the British Armed Forces took to the streets of Windsor Thursday to rehearse their roles ahead of the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle this weekend.

More than 250 members of the Armed Forces will take on ceremonial duties on Saturday, lining the streets of Windsor, providing an escort for the procession and flanking the entrance to St George's Chapel, where the couple will wed.

Troops left their barracks at 11 a.m. local time (6 a.m. ET) Thursday, many marching to Windsor Castle to take up their positions inside the grounds.

Twenty-eight members of the Household Cavalry -- made up of the two most senior regiments in the British Army -- took their places in a lineup on the staircase at St George's Chapel, according to a Ministry of Defence spokesperson in Windsor.

Twenty-six mounted members of the Household Cavalry rehearsed the procession route through Windsor, escorting the carriage that will carry the couple on the day, the spokesperson said.

Harry and Meghan arrived at Windsor Castle later on Thursday in a black Range Rover. The couple were driven up the Long Walk into the castle grounds, the final leg on the procession route.

Queen Elizabeth II was also resident in the castle Thursday, but it was unclear when she arrived.

Prince Harry has a close relationship with each of the regiments and units participating on his wedding day, according to Kensington Palace.

The young prince completed two tours of Afghanistan with the Household Cavalry regiment and holds ceremonial positions with the Royal Navy and Royal Marines, both of which will be represented on Saturday.

While in Afghanistan, Prince Harry served with The Royal Gurkha Rifles and the Army Air Corps, and members of those units will also participate.

The procession on Saturday will begin at around 1 p.m. (8 a.m. ET), after the wedding ceremony has ended.

The newlyweds will leave Windsor Castle in an Ascot Landau carriage for a roughly two-mile procession, traveling along the High Street through the town of Windsor, before returning to the castle by the Long Walk, according to the Palace. The procession is expected to take around 25 minutes.

The carriage will be pulled by four Windsor Grey horses, with another two acting as outriders.

The royal family owns five Ascot Landaus and uses them regularly for official events. Prince Harry traveled in one during the carriage procession at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in 2011.

Windsor Grey horses also have a long royal pedigree -- they have been pulling the carriages of British monarchs and members of the royal family since the 1800s.

Rehearsals have also been taking place inside the chapel this week. On Wednesday, the Royal Family Twitter account posted pictures of the St George's Chapel Choir in full voice, rehearsing for Saturday's ceremony.

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