La Garde Républicaine, the mounted branch of the French National Gendarmerie, will be joining a stunning line up for The Edwardian Pageant at this year’s Royal Windsor Horse Show.
Eight riders and sixteen horses will be performing the Garde’s ‘Reprise des Tandem’, a display in which each rider controls two horses, one ridden and one driven in front using long reins. The act shows off the skills learned from both horse and riders’ years of training, and illustrates the rigor required in mounted regiments of yesteryear.
The Pageant celebrates King Edward VII’s life and rule, and this display marks the King’s strong and personal relationship with France. An ardent Francophile, Edward made many visits to France, and especially Paris, both as Prince of Wales and King. His fondness for the country stood him in good stead; when relations between the two nations were tense, the King was able to make a well-timed visit to Paris in 1903 and use his charm and diplomacy to ease the situation. The success of the visit led to the positive political atmosphere in which the Entente Cordiale became possible, resulting in its signing in 1904. Subsequently, Edward VII became known as ‘The Peacemaker’.
Today, the Garde Républicaine are best known for their role in security and pageantry in France, very similar to our own Household Cavalry. Their duties include guarding important public buildings in Paris such as the Palais du Luxembourg (the Senate), the Palais Bourbon (the National Assembly) and keeping public order.
Show Director, Simon Brooks-Ward said: “The team behind the Edwardian Pageant are delighted to welcome La Garde Républicaine to this year’s spectacle. The ‘Reprise des Tandem’ is a routine that represents workmanship and discipline and will bring an exciting new element to the Show, I’m certain that the audience will love it.”
Colonel Philippe Delapierre, commander of the cavalry regiment, said: “This is an exciting experience for the Garde Républicaine. We are looking forward to being a part of the Edwardian Pageant and are proud to showcase the talents of our riders and horses, especially at such a prestigious and well-loved event.”
The Garde Républicaine will be joining an outstanding line-up at the Pageant. Other performers include Santi Serra, the horse whisperer from Spain, The Oman Royal Cavalry, The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery and scenes of Edwardian Horse Racing, and the Indian Raj. All will be accompanied by The National Symphony Orchestra with a score set by celebrated conductor and composer, Debbie Wiseman.
Tickets for The Edwardian Pageant are now available online at windsorpageant.co.uk or via the box office on 0844 581 0755. Local Windsor residents may purchase their tickets at Windsor Information Centre located in Windsor Royal Shopping or by telephone on 01753 743 589.