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Choreography and the funeral of HM the Queen


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An excellent piece by Ms Sulcas, and her points about rehearsal and choreography are well made.  Many years ago, in my early RAF days, I was selected as one of the guards at the service funeral of a friend and colleague killed in an aircraft accident.  That necessitated an afternoon's rehearsal during which the Station Warrant Officer took us through the drill for getting to 'Rest on Arms Reversed' with a sword - march in, get to position, unsheath the sword, invert it, then head down.  I was then stationed at RAF Benson, then the home of The Queen's Flight ( TQF, and a very shiny hangar, indeed), and the station was the nominated destination for Operation VAGUE, a plan for the recovery of the body of the Duke of Windsor from France when required.  It was rehearsed pretty fully twice a year as I recall, on Saturday mornings with us all at attention before our squadron hangars as a Britannia aircraft landed and taxied past to its parking place by TQF, where a bearer party was in place.  In essence, we saw all of the above happening again at the Lying in State in Edinburgh and Westminster, and in the C-17 flight bringing Her Majesty's body south to London.        

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I have spoken to a couple of ballet dancers who were totally awestruck by the straight lines and how thousands of soldiers all kept in perfect step, moved their arms in perfect sync whether it was to remove head dress, present arms, or whatever.  

 

I am sure that corps de ballet all around the world watched and wept at how perfect they were!!  

 

 

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