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History

The Band of The Household Cavalry came into existence in 2014 as the result of a 'union' between The Band of The life Guards and The Band of The Blues and Royals following a review of Army Music.

THE BAND OF THE HOUSEHOLD CAVALRY

 The Band of The Household Cavalry was formed in September 2014 with the union of The Band of The Life Guards and The Band of The Blues and Royals, the two mounted bands of the British Army.

 The history of The Life Guards began in 1659 at the court of the exiled King Charles II in Holland when a number of Royalist gentlemen led by Lord Gerrard of Brandonformed themselves into the Kings Life Guard. This duty has been carried on through the centuries by the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment and is symbolised in the twenty first century by The Queen’s Life Guard ceremony at Horse Guards Parade in London From the outset, music held an important role in regimental life – it is recorded that as early as 1660 the regiment was preceded by its own mounted kettledrummer and four trumpeters.  By 1822 the regiment had a band of twenty including nine trumpeters, hautbois (oboes) and French horns.  In 1831 King William IV presented both the 1st and 2nd Life Guards with a pair of silver kettledrums which are still in use today and form an iconic part of The Queen's Birthday Parade.

 The Royal Horse Guards (Blues) formed in 1661 from members of the disbanded cavalry of Cromwells New Model Army and became known as ‘The Oxford Blues’, in reference to their first Colonel, the Earl of Oxford, and to their blue tunics.  From its formation, the regiment had kettledrummers and trumpeters, as did the Royal Dragoons (1st Dragoons) who were also raised in 1661 as The Tangier Horse to guard the North African town gifted to the crown. 

 By 1702 The Tangier Horse had changed to a Dragoon Regiment and had a band comprising eight drummers and eight hautbois (oboes).  In 1805 King George III personally presented a pair of solid-silver Kettledrums to the Royal Horse Guards as ‘testimony to their honorable and military conduct on all occasions’.  These kettledrums continue to be used today and can be seen carried by the Drum Horse and played by the mounted drummer on the Queens Birthday Parade.  In 1969 The Royal Horse Guards (Blues) amalgamated with 1st The Royal Dragoons (The Royals) to become The Blues and Royals (RHG/D).

 The historic and prestigious reputation of The Band of The Household Cavalry is based upon musical support (both dismounted and mounted) to a wide range of state and ceremonial events worldwide, with all of its musicians completing the five-month Household Cavalry Equitation course.  The band provides State Trumpeters, mounted, marching and concert bands as well as many smaller ensembles, and is renowned for wearing Gold State coats and blue velvet jockey caps when performing at major ceremonial events at which senior members of the Royal Family are present.

 The band is under the joint direction of Major Craig Hallatt and Captain David Hammond.

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