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Spit and polish are the secret weapons for troops on British royal wedding parade

04-29-2011 10:02 BJT Special Report:UK Royal Wedding - Prince William and Kate Middleton |

London, April 28 (Xinhua) -- The British royal wedding of Prince William and his university sweetheart Catherine Middleton has taken months of planning and preparation, not least by ceremonial troops taking part in the wedding procession and lining the route from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey where the couple will get married.

The troops from the British army will be in full ceremonial dress. For soldiers this is likely to be scarlet tunics, black trousers and huge bearskin helmets.

For the cavalry riding in the procession and on the route, the uniform is even more splendid -- red or blue uniforms with sparkling silver gilt helmets and breast plates as well as thigh- high black boots which take weeks to polish.

And for the cavalry, the horses must be in tip-top condition too.

Xinhua spoke to some of the soldiers who will be taking part in Friday's event, and they revealed the hours of practice and preparation that goes into producing a faultless performance and turn-out on the day.

Captain Mark Avison is the Riding Master of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, and is responsible for the riding training of the soldiers in his regiment.

He said the troopers undergo 20 weeks of riding training, and in his latest batch of more than 10 trained riders who had just completed their training, four had never ridden before and most of the others had only taken a few riding lessons.

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