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Császár Hussars in London

Szöveg: Captain Dr. Gergely Tóth |  2019. január 1. 10:08

The possibilities of quality military re-enactment have been recently demonstrated in London by the six members of the Imperial and Royal 1st Hussar Regiment (Császár Hussars) re-enacted by the Cavalry Unit of the Honvéd Zrínyi Sports Association, forming part of the Centenary Military Re-enactment Infantry Brigade, who gave honour guard at the opening ceremony of the Hussar Exhibition of the National Army Museum and the MoD Military History Institute and Museum, on the one hand, and, on the other, they participated on a common horseback ride in Hyde Park with one of the most distinguished British formation, the Royal Regiment of Horse Guards (RHG), raised in 1658, forming part of the Household Cavalry Regiment (HCR).

The temporary exhibition processing the Hungarian and British common hussar traditions also disclosed the time, when the joint hussars had last been in London – in 1910, at the funeral ceremony of King Edward VII, as he had been the regiment owner of the Imperial and Royal Miskolc 12th Hussar Regiment. It was the era custom that the members of the royal houses were honorary owners of the regiments of other countries, and so was the then crown prince’s, later king’s life connected in 1884 with the Hungarian regiment. Returning the visit of Edward in Miskolc, a three-member delegation attended his funeral in London, as shown in the contemporary photographs.


After 108 years again, Hussar boots clopped on the London cobblestones, when before the common ride with the British officers, our Hussars took a short walk on the banks of the Thames, creating a stir, and attracting appreciative stares. In what follows, Lt.-Col. Paddy Williams, the regimental commander received the team already joined by the Ambassador of Hungary to London, Res. Capt. Mr. Kristóf Szalay- Bobrovniczky in the barracks of the Household Cavalry Regiment (HCR). The Ambassador – who also preserves the heritage of the Császár Hussars – took command of the Hungarian team wearing the uniform of a Hussar captain, then after a short acquaintance with the horses provided by the British party, he started on a ride with Major Richard Chambers in the Park. Following the ride, the Major praised both the equestrian knowledge and the military discipline of the Hungarians. It has again been confirmed that there is justification for the quality, detail-attentive military re-enactment, even under the conditions of modern military forces, as the hussars were able to appear as equal partners beside the longest-standing and most recognised honour guard of the world.


In the afternoon, at the opening ceremony of the Hussar Exhibition NATO’s former Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe General Sir Richard Shireff recalled the historic connections of the two nations’ equestrian culture, and the Ambassador greeted the many guests attending, who could view in addition to the original suits presented in the display cases, also their authentic copies on the hussars present there.

Photos of Lehel Kelemen