TRADITION, LONG ESTABLISHED PRACTICE AND SEEKING THE QUEEN’S PLEASURE by Donal Kennedy

“The Household Cavalry are not to provide troops, whether mechanised, horse or on foot, other than Regimental Bands, for parades, processions or for similar occasions unless such attendance conforms with tradition and long established practice, unless prior approval under Para 47 or 48 has been obtained…

When an application is made for the attendance of Household Cavalry, approval which would constitute precedent, the Commander of Household Cavalry must refer the matter to the Major General. The Major General will seek the Queen’s Pleasure.”

The quotations, from The Queen’s Regulations for the British Army, which, together with them are available online, arrested me, because of the their detailed attention to what an ordinary citizen might take to be footling, arcane concerns, framed in language to tickle his funny-bone or feature in a Carry On Farce.

The next paragraph started – “Application for State Trumpeters shall be made to the Silver Stick in Waiting.”  Waiting the Queen’s Pleasure, one might presume?  

It was not footling concerns that drew me to the Queen’s Regulations, but serious curiosity, for as I understood things the Regulations should set out what troops may do and what they may not do lawfully and what sanctions or punishments they should face if acting outside the law.

It seems to me that the State calling itself The United Kingdom has never been united and within that state there is neither Law nor Order.

Lord Savile established and Prime Minister Cameron declared that the British Army was at fault when it shot demonstrators dead in Derry on Bloody Sunday, and that all of the demonstrators killed were innocent of violence or threats of violence. Perhaps a trawl through Queen’s Regulations will explain why it pleased the Queen to appoint Lt.Col. Wilford, the killers’ immediate commander, to an Order of Chivalry – The Order of the British Empire, before the dust had settled on the graves of his victims. 

The London Times in is Obituary of Lord Carrington says he was responsible for the torture of internees lifted in August 1971, (by soldiers under the guidance of doctors in the Royal Army Medical Corps.) Was the Defence Minister or a Major General obliged to enquire after the Queen’s Pleasure?Or did their conduct “conform with tradition and long established practice” wherever Her, and Her Royal and Imperial British Predecessors’  Writ  has run?

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