London bridge (part fourteen)

Hans Holbein the Younger (1497/8-1543), Portrait of an English Woman

Helmet from the ship burial at Sutton Hoo

Teddington footbridge

Hungerford bridge (part three)

St Mary-at-Lambeth

An english beverage of choice

The Guards

The Welsh Guards

St George’s

Taking afternoon tea

St Stephen Walbrook


Mummy portrait of Artemidorus

The opium wars

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The Coldstream GuardsThe Coldstream Guards were raised in 1650 on the orders of Oliver Cromwell to form Colonel Monck's Regiment of Foot. They took their place in the ranks of the 'New Model Army', Britain's first regular force.

For the next ten years the Regiment served with distinction and in 1660 they were still with Monck, and quartered in the small town of Coldstream on the English/ Scottish border. By 1660 Cromwell had been dead for two years, Parliamentary rule had become autocratic, and life had become marked by continual political upheavals. London was the centre of most of the unrest, and in January 1660 General Monck marched his troops to the capital and set about restoring order.
The Grenadier GuardsIn 1656 Charles II, while in exile, raised a Regiment from his followers at Bruges. It was called the 'Royal Regiment of Guards' and the King appointed Lord Wentworth as the first colonel.

On the King's return to the Throne he disbanded the old Parliamentarian army and commissioned Colonel John Russell to raise another Regiment of twelve companies for his personal protection.
The Blues and RoyalsIn 1969 The Royal Horse Guards (The Blues) were amalgamated with the Royal Dragoons (1st Dragoons) to form a new Regiment in the Household Cavalry, known as The Blues and Royals.

The Royal Horse Guards (the Blues) were directly descended from the Regiment of Horse raised by Cromwell in 1650. With the Restoration, King Charles II took the Regi¬ment for his own, styling it 'The Royal Regiment of Horse'. Although forced to hand in its Standards in December 1660 by Par¬liamentary agitation for the disbandment of the army, the further threat to the monarchy changed the situation and Charles signed the birth certicate of the modern British Army in 1661. The new Regiment was to be com¬manded by Aubrey de Verre, Earl of Oxford.
The UniformsThe Life Guards wear scarlet tunics, helmets with white plumes and white leather breeches. White crossbelts with a red flash- cord running down the centre are worn over the left shoulder.

The steel cuirass of breast and back plates, worn by both The Life Guards and The Blues and Royals, is the only body armour still worn by any British soldier. The present form of cuirass dates from the reign of George IV and although the 2nd Life Guards wore a black japanned form of it at a royal review in 1814, there is no evidence that it has been worn in battle since the late 17th century.
The Life GuardsWith a proud tradition of over three centuries of service as a Body Guard to the Sovereign, The Life Guards are the senior, though not the oldest, Regiment of the British Army. At the end of the Civil War, a number of Royalists followed Prince Charles (later King Charles II) into exile and in Holland, 80 of them were organized into a body of Life Guards, of whom 20 were always on duty to guard the Royal residence or escort Charles. By the time of the Restoration of the monarchy in 1660, their number had increased to 600, organized into three troops - the King's Troop, The Duke of York's Troop and the Duke of Albemarle's Troop. A fourth troop was raised in Scotland soon after the Restoration. At this stage The Life Guards were known as The Horse Guards or Life Guard of Horse.
The GuardsSoldiers of the Household Division are renowned for the unique proficiency with which they carry out ceremonial duties. Yet, while upholding the traditions of the past, the Household Division has mastered the skill of modern soldiering with confidence, and their soldiers are equally at home in tanks, armoured cars or parachuting.