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Queen Elizabeth‘s upcoming Platinum Jubilee celebrations will be a milestone for women in more ways than one.
As the Queen, 96, prepares to become the first British monarch in history to reach the 70th anniversary of her ascension to the throne, another group of trailblazing women is preparing to celebrate with her.
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Multiple female members of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, a branch of the British army mainly on the ceremonial side of operations, will participate in this year’s Jubilee, marking the first jubilee in which women have taken part.
Today, there are 42 mounted, trained female members of the Household Cavalry, holding ranks from trooper to lance corporal of horse.
The first woman to join the ranks, Nina Croker, was recruited back in 2018 after a change in the Household Cavalry policy.
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Captain Harry Sayer of the Blues and Royals, a troop leader in the Household Cavalry, told The Times that women beginning to join the ranks was a massive step forward in demonstrating that gender doesn’t matter in the job.
“Girls outclass the boys more often than not,” Sayer said.
Many of the female troopers who will participate in the jubilee are young women for whom a job on horseback is a whole new world. Eighteen-year-old trooper Rosie Osborne, who told The Times she had never ridden a horse until last year, said she can’t wait for the upcoming experience.
“There’s always nerves, you’re always worried about being late or turning up in the wrong kit but everyone helps each other so everyone gets there in the end,” she added.
Twenty-year-old trooper Kate Roscoe agreed and said it felt “quite special” to be a part of such an important moment in British history. Buckingham Palace officials previously announced that a weekend of celebrations in honor of the Place Jubilee will take place from June 2 to June 5.
Ahead of her history-making jubilee, the Queen also received a very feminine honor in the form of her very own Barbie doll, which hit stores last Thursday. The Barbie, dressed in a tiara and a regal ivory gown with a blue sash, also honored the Queen’s 96th birthday.
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In a statement ahead of the Barbie’s release, historian and professor Kate Williams shared how the Queen’s long reign has paved the way for young female leaders.
“In 1952, when she came to the throne, women were not encouraged to work and politicians expressed doubts about a young female monarch — but she showed them wrong, proved herself an adept leader and diplomat,” Williams said. “As Her Majesty celebrates this milestone jubilee it is wonderful to see an iconic brand like Barbie share important historical female figures impact as leaders, creators and pioneers to new generations.”
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For the female Cavalry members currently preparing to take center stage on that first weekend in June, the monarchy (and the Queen at its helm) have been inspirational since childhood. Speaking to The Times, 19-year-old trooper Matilda Bishop recalled watching the Household Cavalry participate in the Windsor musical ride as a little girl, and realizing she’d found her dream.
“My dad took me to watch it when I was about eight . . . Ever since then, that was what I always wanted to do,” she said. “Now I’m doing it for myself I feel it is something that has made me so proud.”