Military rehearsal for Thatcher funeral
LONDON — A military rehearsal of Baroness Thatcher’s funeral procession has taken place in central London.
More than 700 members of the armed forces drawn from all three services took part in the practice before dawn.
They will line the route of the funeral procession from Westminster to St. Paul’s Cathedral on Wednesday.
Lady Thatcher’s coffin is to be carried in a gun carriage drawn by the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, which was involved in the rehearsal.
Major Andrew Chatburn, the man in charge of choreographing the parade, said the rehearsal “went very well” and it was “vitally important” to stage a trial of Wednesday’s event.
“Timings are most important,” he said.
Chatburn, ceremonial staff officer for the Household Division, who was also behind the royal wedding procession two years ago and last year’s Diamond Jubilee parade, added: “Bearing in mind these are sailors, soldiers and airmen who have come in to do this specific task from their routine duties, so it’s new to them.
“They need to see the ground as well so they can get a feel for how it’s going to go and they can perform their duties with confidence on the day.”
The procession band played the funeral marches of Chopin, Beethoven and Mendelssohn as it made its way along the deserted streets for the rehearsal. (BBC)