Royal Marines Band impress armed forces minister ahead of London show

THEIR uniforms are known throughout the country and this week they will be on show for a royal's birthday celebrations.

Monday, 23rd May 2016, 6:10 am
The massed bands of the Royal Marines rehearsing for a major ceremony in London celebrating the birthday of the Duke of Edinburgh

The Royal Marines Band are performing in London for the Duke of Edinburgh’s birthday as part of the Beating Retreat ceremonies.

Armed forces minister Penny Mordaunt, who is also MP for Portsmouth North, went to Whale Island to see a rehearsal.

Around 200 musicians will be performing this week as five bands from across the UK, including the Portsmouth band, march along The Mall.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Ms Mordaunt said: ‘It was a real privilege to have a peak behind the scenes at how the Royal Marines Band performances are put together.

‘It was great to see them rehearsing although they did not look like they needed much practice. I know they strive for perfection.

‘Many people in Portsmouth are familiar with the band and it is an amazing job they do.’

Ms Mordaunt added: ‘Our navy connection and having the band service based here in Portsmouth, we should be proud of that.’

The Royal Marines Band will be travelling up to London today for final rehearsals. They will perform twice at Horse Guards Parade, Whitehall, on Wednesday and Thursday evening.

Prince Philip, who is Captain General of the Royal Marines, will attend the second performance.

Solo cornet player Ben Elliott, 21, said the event is going to be amazing. He has been selected to perform, despite still being under training at the Royal Marines School of Music, in Portsmouth.

He said: ‘I have never done a performance on that scale so it is going to be incredible.

‘I am used to performing in smaller numbers so to have 200 people makes the sound something you cannot get over.

Fellow musician Elsie Chadd, who plays the French horn, added: ‘It is really exciting. To march down The Mall will be brilliant.

‘It is harder with more people but we have been rehearsing a lot.’

Tickets for the event, which is raising money for the The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity, can be bought by phoning (023) 8017 0513.