The Royal Cavalry of the Sultanate of Oman will perform at Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th birthday this summer. They will put up a major show at the four-day extravaganza to be held in the private grounds of the Windsor Castle in May. Currently the cavalry are continuing their practice session in their country.
They will fly around 100 horses from Muscat to perform in front of the Elizabeth, Prince Philip and other family members. Led by Brigadier-General Abdulrazak Alshahwarzi, the cavalry have been hard at work for four months. They are keen to continue the majestic display they put on during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee when they visited London in 2012.
The cavalry are taking their practise sessions very seriously. Major Douglas Robertson, the former senior director of music to both the Band of the Blues and Royals and the Band of the Scots Guards will play a major role. He was the head of directing events including the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Parade in 2002, and is now based in Oman, and has brought his expertise to the cavalry’s music section for over three years.
The members of his team are girls and performing in front of the British monarch means a lot to them, he said. “The Queen's 90th birthday is the chance for them to show the world what they can do. We want to come away with people saying, 'Wow',” the major said.
Douglas said they were practising every day, morning and afternoon and started as early as 6 a.m. The cavalry band will play the unusual instrument – bagpipe. Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said, Sultan of Oman, during his college days at Sandhurt in 1963 fell in love with the bagpipes.
He enjoyed them so much that he brought them back home to Oman. The 89-year-old royal is known for her love of bagpipes. Every day at 9 a.m. Elizabeth and her husband Prince Philip listen to her piper, who plays a selection of bagpipe tunes below the dining room window for fifteen minutes.
The cavalry have been invited to perform and will show their talent at the Royal Windsor Horse Show which runs from May 11-15. General Alshahwarzi said it was an honor and privilege for them to be a part of the show. He added it meant a lot to them to showcase the Arabic equestrian tradition in Europe.
They will perform the musical ride an Arabic tradition with colors and in civilian dress. There are 28 women in the musical band. Raida Soud Ali Albahri, 25, a flute and piccolo player said that the queen was popular among Omanis and they saw her during her visit to their country a few years ago.
She wished the queen a very happy birthday and said everybody liked the British royal family. Meanwhile, the cavalry are prepared for any kid of eventuality and will fly to England two weeks ahead of the program to accustom themselves and the horses of the climate.