Canada and the Commonwealth will soon celebrate the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, marking the 70th anniversary of her succession to the throne.
To celebrate the occasion locally, the Armstrong Regional Co-op and the Okanagan Military Tattoo Society have teamed up to present Soldiers of the Queen, featuring the Strathcona Ceremonial Mounted Troop, at the Armstrong fairgrounds May 26.
The Strathcona troop is a ceremonial mounted cavalry unit of the Canadian Army attached to the Lord Strathcona’s Horse, an Edmonton-based armoured regiment. It is the last surviving military mounted troop in Canada.
The first members of the regiment were trained horsemen recruited to serve in the Boer War in South Africa. The regiment also served in the First World War as part of the Canadian Cavalry Brigade.
Performing in North America starting in 1923, the Ceremonial Troop was dissolved in 1939 as the Second World War was breaking out in Europe. The troop was brought back in 1974, in time for the regiment’s 75th anniversary.
In 2000, the troop mounted the Queen’s Life Guard at Buckingham Palace, marking the first time a unit other than the Household Cavalry or the Royal Horse Artillery provided a mounted guard in London.
“It is therefore fitting that the Strathcona Ceremonial Troop be a part of our local Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations,” said Derek Hall, vice president of the Okanagan Military Tattoo Society.
The troop consists of 20 soldiers whose performance combines traditional cavalry drills with the tent pegging that is often seen in equestrian sports.
The performance in Armstrong will include local pipe bands and some surprise performers. A second performance may be scheduled the following day (May 27) depending on ticket sales.
All profits from the event will make their way to charities supporting veterans.
Tickets to Soldiers of the Queen can be purchased at ticketseller.ca or at the Armstrong Regional Co-op Gas Bars in Vernon, Armstrong and Salmon Arm.