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Royal Marines to celebrate Prince Philip’s birthday and their 350th anniversary

The Royal Marines are set to commemorate their 350th anniversary of creation in June, and these celebrations are to coincide with The Duke of Edinburgh’s 93rd birthday.


Around 400 military personnel and musicians will perform together in the largest ever Royal Marines Beating Retreat. The Retreat is a military pageant of music, as well as a precision drill, and will be held on the 3rd and 4th June on Horse Guards Parade.

Prince Philip, Captain General of the Royal Marines, will celebrate his 93rd birthday on June 10th, continuing his reign as the longest-ever serving consort. The Beating Retreat ceremony has been carried out since 1960 in honour of The Duke’s birthday.

The Beating Retreat’s origins come from the early days of chivalry and was used to halt fighting on the battlefield. It’s playing called troops to return to camp for the night, and initiated the mounted guard to serve as night security.

Event Director Lt Col Trevor Sawyer RM said: “Our fist and most versatile military musicians will be on show at this year’s Beating Retreat. We’re hoping to play to a sell-out crowd so have been rehearsing since before Christmas.” Spectators can expect to see the military personnel perform a show-stopping event, and the celebrations will include fireworks and cannons.

The pageant will be full of pomp and ceremony, displaying the skills of the Royal Marines

The pageant will be full of pomp and ceremony, displaying the skills of the Royal Marines

The pageant displays the skills of the Royal Marines, who are the Royal Navy’s “amphibious infantry”, and will include “ceremonial pieces as well as traditional marches and overtures”, Lt Col Sawyer has said.

Prince Philip served in the Royal Navy during the Second World War. He left active service in 1951 as the then Princess Elizabeth’s Royal duties increased, as George VI’s health declined.  He has retained close links with the Navy and Armed Forces ever since.

The Marines originate from The Duke of York’s, the future James II’s, ‘Maritime Regiment of Foot’ from around 1664. The Duke of York was also The Lord High Admiral, commander of the Navy, and so the regiments became known as the Admiral’s Regiment. The 92 year-old Duke of Edinburgh became Captain General of the regiment in 2013; it is a ceremonial title and holds with it the same rank as Field Marshal, which is the highest rank attainable.

Tickets for the event cost upwards of £12, and are still available to purchase.

photo credits: Royal Navy Media Archive via photopin cc

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