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Open day for Royal Navy reservists

Reservist Lt Cdr Tim Williams on board the battleship USS Wisconsin Credit: Royal Navy

HMS Wildfire is opening its doors today in the hope of securing new recruits. An open day is being held at Rickmansworth and Watford Sea Cadets' base in Watford to give people the opportunity to see what life is like in the Navy.

There'll be demonstrations on weapons handling, firefighting and chemical defence. More than 2,300 men and woman currently serve as Royal Navy reservists along with their normal day job.


2012 tournament pays tribute to the Queen

To mark the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of 2012, this year’s British Military Tournament will cover the "life and times" of Queen Elizabeth II, starting with the events of 1926 (the year the Queen was born) and finishing with the current-day military engagement in Afghanistan.

The event is described as the largest display of military theatre anywhere in the world and will include:

  • More than 600 participants (including active servicemen) and 150 horses.
  • The bands of the Royal Marines, the Household Cavalry, the Royal Artillery and the Royal Air Force.
  • The horses of the Household Cavalry competing with the motorcycles of the Royal Signals’ White Helmets over an obstacle course which includes jumps and flaming hoops.
  • A battle re-enactment featuring the Royal Logistic Corps in a dramatic bomb disposal in Afghanistan.
  • The largest massed bagpipe band seen at Earls Court since the Second World War.

Dawn rehearsal for Jubilee

While the rest of the capital was sleeping, hundreds of soldiers rode on horseback through the streets of London to rehearse the State Procession for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

Members of The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment rode at dawn from the Palace of Westminster along Whitehall to Trafalgar Square, then through Admiralty Arch and along the Mall to Buckingham Palace.

The route was lined with personnel from the Royal Navy and Royal Marines, Foot Guards and Massed Bands of the Household Division, the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment and the Queen's Colour Squadron of the Royal Air Force. In total, some 2,000 servicemen and women took part in the rehearsal.

Thousands of flag-waving well-wishers are expected to turn out for Tuesday's spectacle.

Today it was empty, but on Tuesday this carriage will carry members of the Royal Family past thousands of well-wishers. Credit: Rebecca Naden/PA Wire
Members of The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment rode from the Houses of Parliament to Buckingham Palace. Credit: Rebecca Naden/PA Wire
The route was lined with personnel from other sections of the armed forces. Credit: Rebecca Naden/PA Wire
2,000 servicemen and women took part in the rehearsal. Credit: Rebecca Naden/PA Wire
The rehearsal took place just after sunrise. Credit: Rebecca Naden/PA Wire


Jubilee preparations

HMS Hurworth is standing in place of the Royal Barge for today's rehearsal. Credit: London Tonight.

It looks rather different from the boat that will carry the Queen down the Thames in this weekend's Diamond Jubilee celebrations, but today HMS Hurworth is acting the part of the Royal Barge.

The Royal Navy is practicing its formation for the Royal Guard, which will accompany the Queen's boat down the river on Sunday.

Ten naval vessels will surround the Royal Barge, while almost a thousand other boats will take part in the procession.

An artist's impression of the genuine Royal Barge.
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