The Republican Guard’s presidential escort

One of the cavalry’s first assignments is to provide ceremonial services on foot and horseback for the State’s highest authorities. The Republican Guard riders are used in this way on a daily basis in national palaces, the first and foremost being the Élysée Palace. Five hundred ceremonial services are performed on average each year, ranging from a simple guard of honour with a small number of riders to the deployment of large-scale mounted escort.

There are two types of escort:

- the large-scale mixed escort consisting of 140 horses and 28 squadron motorcyclists of the Guard located in "flank guards" on each side of the presidential vehicle. It accompanies foreign heads of state on a "state visit" to France or escorts the President of the Republic, particularly on inauguration day.
- the large-scale escort of 157 horses takes place once a year on 14 July. It accompanies the President from the Place de l'Étoile to the Place de la Concorde. There are 12 riders including a porter officer who here occupies the positions of flank guards.

The distribution of the units is always the same:

 

  • the cavalry band (33 or 38 riders, according to the type of escort, riding on chestnut horses, including two gray drummer horses) led by the trumpet-major
  • the commander of the cavalry regiment
  • the second in command (depending on the type of escort)
  • the standard and its guard (3 riders riding gray horses)
  • the vanguard (51 riders riding chestnut horses)
  • the presidential cortege (with 12 flank guards + 1 porter officer or 28 motorcyclists)
  • the rearguard (51 riders riding "bay" or "bay brown" horses).
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