Yesterday evening, the Duke of Edinburgh, alongside Her Majesty The Queen, witnessed a sublime musical extravaganza of almost 500 military personnel and musicians who put on the biggest Beating Retreat ever seen.
The display, which took place at Horse Guards Parade in central London, was in celebration of Prince Philip’s birthday and the 350th anniversary of the Royal Marines. The celebration is traditionally held in honour of the Duke’s birthday as he is Captain General of the Royal Marines.
— Stephen Watson (@StephenWatson39) June 4, 2014
The Beating Retreat, which usually takes place over two nights, involved 490 personnel. These were made up of a Royal Guard from 42 Commando Royal Marines and all five Royal Marines massed bands; Portsmouth, Plymouth, Collingwood, Scotland and the Commando Training Centre Royal Marines at Lympstone. They were also joined by their colleagues from the Royal Marines band service Corps of Drums and Fanfare team.
While Her Majesty watched on from the Major General’s office within the Horse Guards Arch, Prince Philip took the salute on the ground with hundreds of people watching him, including Defence Secretary Philip Hammond and London Mayor Boris Johnson.
Also at the Beating Retreat were 45 ranks from the 2nd Marine Division Band, United States Marine Corps and 60 ranks from Royal Netherlands Marine Corps Band, marking the first time the three bands from the three nations have performed together.
This year saw the introduction of a new march called Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh, dedicated to the Duke in recognition of his role as Captain General of the Royal Marines since 1952. The event is one of the highlights of the UK wide celebrations to mark the anniversary known as RM350.
Prince Philip will turn 93 years old on June 10th.
The Beating Retreat happened just a day before the Duke and Her Majesty The Queen travelled to France for a three day state visit to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the D Day landings.