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How the Royal Cavalry of the Sultanate of Oman are preparing for the Queen's 90th birthday celebrations

Second Lieutenant Raidah Albahri
Alexandra Wilby
Alexandra WilbyAssistant Editor
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Thundering down the beach in all their jewel-coloured finery, the Royal Cavalry of the Sultanate of Oman take part in another spectacular sunrise practice session to prepare for their prestigious performance at the Queen's 90th Birthday this summer.

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Copyright for all images: Khalil Al-Zadjali

The cavalry will be key players at the four-day extravaganza, which will take place in the private grounds of Windsor Castle in May. They will be selecting as many as 100 horses to fly 3600 miles from their home country to perform in front of the Queen, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and other senior royals – and, as HELLO! found out when we were invited to jet out and meet them in Muscat, preparations for the big event are already well underway.

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HELLO!

NINETY REASONS TO SALUTE HER MAJESTY

"This means the world to these girls," he explains, when we meet him at the Al Safinat stables just outside the capital. "The Queen's 90th birthday is the chance for them to show the world what they can do. We want to come away with people saying, 'Wow'. We're practising every day, morning and afternoon. We start in the stables at 6am, then we come back in the afternoon and do it again. We have to meet expectations. "One rather unusual instrument included in the cavalry band is the bagpipes. When His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said, Sultan of Oman, studied at Sandhurt in 1963 he fell in love with the bagpipes and enjoyed them so much that he brought them back home to Oman – a detail that is sure to go down well with the Queen.

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Second Lieutenant Raidah Albahri
HELLO!

The cavalry, used to practicing in the scorching, desert heat of the Middle East, will be hoping that, weather-wise, there isn't a repeat of their 2012 trip, when it rained nonstop. Just to be sure they're prepared for all eventualities, they'll be flying to England two weeks ahead of their performances to make themselves – and the horses – familiar with the climate.

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