Upon the invitation of Major General Sir Edward Smyth-Osbourne and the Trustees of the Museum, on the evening of Thursday 30 November 2017 HRH The Princess Royal, Colonel, The Blues and Royals (Royal Horse Guards and 1st Dragoons) attended a Reception at the Household Cavalry Museum to mark the Tenth Anniversary, Horse Guards Parade, London, SW1 and was received by Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Greater London, Mr. Kenneth Olissa.
Celebrating the Regiment’s “Best of Both Worlds” approach, displays at the Household Cavalry Museum focus on the Regiment’s dual operational and ceremonial roles over the last 357 years. From the helmet, breastplate and arm protection worn by one of Unton Crooke’s Ironsides during the English Civil War to the displays of the medals won by Britain’s most decorated C21st soldier, visitors can get up close and personal to the Regiment’s history in the very building serving present duties. The glass panel looking into the working stables of the Regiment offers a unique sight unavailable anywhere else in the world.
The Museum started its life within the military environs of Combermere Barracks, making the move to the magnificent Horse Guards Building in 2007 to allow the public greater contact with the Collection. The major feat of effort made by all those involved was not wasted as Accreditation with the Arts Council has already been accomplished twice, and the current renewed application already under way. Since 2007 the London Museum has welcomed nearly 700,000 visitors, currently averaging around 60,000 per year, including welcoming 300 school children during the week of Remembrance alone. The reach of interest is international and the visitor audio-guide is now available in 8 languages. Digitally the Museum’s online footprint commands several thousand regular followers spread over Twitter, Facebook and Instagram with the average monthly reach on Twitter alone being to 41,000 users.
With the newly acquired ability to digitise documentation of artefacts and expand the Museums on-line reach, the Regimental Collection of the future will not be limited to a geographical location. Having said this, the heritage of the site and the empathy visitors can’t help but feel will never be replaced and the Museum will continue to strive to entice both on-line and physical visitors in parallel. In 2018 at the 100th anniversary of the First World War Armistice the Museum will be offering a joint online and physical temporary exhibition over the 12 months: focussing on one item from the Windsor Archive per month with each supported by an online blog, an educational lesson plan, a family activity and a special event at the Museum. Visitors will be surprised and delighted at
the broad reach of items such as the Christina Broom photo collection- the focus of the exhibition in the month of March with a talk by Trustee Samantha Wyndham on the evening of International Women’s Day, Thursday 8 March, 2018.
The work of the Museum is symbiotic with the Household Cavalry Foundation, the official charity for the Household Cavalry. The Foundation provides charitable and pastoral support to all the members of the Household Cavalry “family”: our serving soldiers, operational casualties, veterans and dependants. The Foundation also supports the Household Cavalry’s heritage, and the welfare of our retired horses.
Support is especially important now the majority of British troops are currently withdrawn from operations overseas. So we must not only care for physical injuries, but also prepare for long-term psychological problems, such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, that tend to emerge long after operational tours.
The Household Cavalry Foundation relies solely on public donations, and all funds go directly to our five charitable areas: serving soldiers, operational casualties, veterans and dependants, and our heritage including our horses.