WATCH: Royal Marines top musician's proud last performance on Britannia

Authors team up to support armed forces

Have your say

The Royal Marines' top musician returned to the Royal Yacht Britannia for a poignant performance before he retires from 35 years of service.

Lieutenant Colonel Nick Grace said he was honoured to be invited to perform on the ship, on which he served for five years, one last time.

Picture: SWNS

Picture: SWNS

The Principal Director of Music led The Massed Bands of Her Majesty's Royal Marines as they surprised visitors with a performance on board the famous vessel.

Lt Col Grace and the band played a segment of songs from their performance at this year's Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

It was a poignant performance for Nick, who has played at three military tattoo events, including its tour to Australia and New Zealand.

The 52-year-old is set to retire at the end of the year after a service spanning more than three decades.

In his final performance aboard the ship, Nick said both the Britannia and the Military Tattoo hold many special memories for him.

He said: "The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo and Her Majesty's Royal Yacht Britannia both hold many memories for me.

"I have had the great pleasure of performing at three Tattoos over the years, and hold many memories of performing on the former Royal Yacht of the British monarch Queen Elizabeth II - when it was in service- from 1953 - 1997.

"It's an honour to be back and I'm delighted to have been given the opportunity to play onboard one last time before I retired as the Principal Director of Music Royal Marines."

The senior Navy's musician has previously shared the stage with Kylie Minogue, Gary Barlow and Katherine Jenkins at Windsor Castle for the Queen's 90th birthday party.

Nick first joined the Royal Marines Band Service in 1982 playing Euphonium and Cello, and has conducted bands on numerous recordings including with major record companies such as Decca and Sony.

His final performance with the band will be at the Royal Marine Band Service Memorial Service at Portsmouth Cathedral on October 9.