7 JUNE 1935, Page 6

Watching the Trooping of the Colour last Monday, one could

not but feel, not only its exceptional beauty as a pageant, but its unique charm as. a survival. Here is the outward show of Court militarism, as it flourished in the seventeenth or the eighteenth century, when armies were accounted the personal retinues of monarchs. The actual ritual, they say, is about two hundred years old. The gorgeous uniforms of the Guards' bands— particularly the mounted bands—seem to go further ; the mounted big-drummer of .the Life Guards might have delighted Louis XIV. The flawless parade-ground evolutions are of the eighteenth century. The perfection, the art, and the uselessness of the performance (whether in a vulgar or in a military sense) have to be seen to be believed. It is all done (as it should be) with such noble seriousness, the King followed by his four sons leading the entire cavalcade. Down to 1914, I suppose, similar ceremonies on a larger scale might be seen in Vienna, Berlin, and St. Petersburg. Now they are all ' perished, and our King's alone survives, not because be is really a War Lord, but precisely because he is not.