Emblem of Honour

The “Three Cheers” for Their Majesties by 4,000 troops on parade was a highly significant intervention in the Coronation yesterday. Up to that moment, the armed forces had played their part as escorts, guards and stewards, supporting their monarch in a subdued way (if marching soldiers and horses can be described as muted). Having completed their task of accompanying the King and Queen to Buckingham Palace, the troops assembled in their regimental groups and delivered a resounding statement of their allegiance to the Head of the Armed Forces.

The relationship between Britain’s military and the House of Windsor, which dates to the First World War, should not be underestimated. The Royal Family has always played an important role not only in their personal involvement in regiments, but also in their embodiment of civil-military co-operation and I am sure this will continue after yesterday’s magnificent procession. There are questions for the future in terms of how this military role will sit alongside a pacifist sentiment in the country, but for now the crescendo of loud voices has drowned out any illogical republican protest. And we can add three cheers for that as well.

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