Prince William sported the black frock coat of the Irish Guards on Thursday as he stood on the saluting dais at Horse Guards Parade.
William became Royal Colonel of the regiment in 2011 prior to his wedding and joins the likes of his father, grandfather and aunty who are also colonels of Household Division regiments.
Armed Forces musicians from Britain, France and Canada treated the crowd of 6,500 in attendance with an exciting presentation of precision drill, military horsemanship, gunfire and a brilliant fireworks display.
“As Colonel of the Irish Guards I am delighted to support the Household Division Beating Retreat. Year after year this wonderful event showcases the skill and professionalism of our military musicians whilst reinforcing the traditions and heritage for which we as a nation are justifiably proud and envied the world over,” William commented.
First used to recall neighbouring units to their garrison, Beating Retreat denotes a military drum call traced back to the 16th Century. Since then it has become an event commemorating the military through presentations and music.
This year’s ceremony highlighted the Vancouver Police Pipe Band. The Band on 16 June will be the first non-military unit to carry out Changing of the Guard at the royal palaces in 350 years.
“As we begin our centenary commemorations of the First World War, I am particularly pleased to welcome our friends from Canada and France to Horse Guards Parade,” The Duke commented.