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ER … TROOPING THE COLOUR. IS THAT A PHRASE?

In Uncategorized on June 14, 2010 at 9:36 pm

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00sr3gl/Trooping_the_Colour_2010/

Britain’s world-class reputation for pomp and circumstance was fully justified on Saturday as some blokes in red coats walked up and down in front of a little old lady in honour of her birthday, before going home.

In accordance with time-honoured traditions of resplendent British panoply, the little old lady sat there for two hours in a twinset and pearls, with a face like a bulldog licking piss off a nettle.

It wasn’t really her birthday.

Field-Marshal General Sir Richard Jeremy Clarkson-Hammond, Comptroller-General of Her Majesty the Queen’s Household Extravagances, said: ‘What a magnificent, pulse-quickening occasion. All those chunky lads stepping firmly around the parade ground, sometimes standing still and ramrod-straight in long lines for up to thirty minutes. It was, as we say in the service, a regular tent-pitcher. Yes, the army’s my life. I’m not joking. I joined up in 1954, and, frankly, the day doesn’t go by that I don’t pinch myself to check I’m not dreaming.

‘Moreover – though not an emotional sort of man – no true English blood can fail to be stirred by the proud array of regimental banners, each painstakingly tapestried with the regimental roll of honour: Hastings; Wexford; Drogheda; Culloden; Peterloo; Isandlwana; the Orange Free State; the Sudan; the Somme; that Irish football stadium; Amritsar; Malaysia; Kenya; the Bogside; Iraq – the proud chronicle of our forefathers’ gallantry truly beggars belief.

‘Excuse me, I’ll have to stop there. I’m so sorry. I’ve been working very hard on this, and it’s all getting a bit much. It’s the sheer relief as much as anything, really.’

With flawless discipline and ardent esprit de corps, service personnel, some only recently returned from Helmand, maintained deadpan poker faces in the teeth of a relentless onslaught of funny hats and strange symbolic gestures. At one point a small piebald pony was laden with huge kettle-drums, while a man in a dress banged them using two big sticks with furry lumps on the end.

Not one of those magnificent men and women allowed so much as a flicker of a smirk to cross their faces.

Meanwhile, in a soaring display of popular patriotism, ordinary English people tuned in at home, or turned out in their thousands at huge public screens, to watch England draw against the Americans on Sky Sport.

Brian Gorman, of the English Patriotic Front, said:

‘I’ve never seen such an astonishing, truly English spectacle.

‘One-all to the Yanks. It’s a joke, innit?’

Oliver Cromwell was unavailable for comment.

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