The first traditional fanfare was sounded on four new state ceremonial trumpets when members of The Band of the Household Calvary collected their instruments from a workshop in North Yorkshire, in plenty of time to provide ceremonial support to the wedding of HRH Prince Henry of Wales and Ms Meghan Markle on 19th May.
Each trumpet bears the Royal Coat of Arms and a unique serial number recognising each of the Trumpet Majors since Her Majesty The Queen’s coronation. They are part of a batch of 20 Smith-Watkins fanfare trumpets to be used for a number of state and royal occasions, including the royal wedding, which will take place at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle.
“The new State Trumpets are immaculately clean and shiny and you feel very proud when your instrument is good, your kit is good and the banner is all brand new. It gives you a bit of pride, an edge to what you do.” said Trumpet Major Matthew Screen from the Band of the Household Cavalry.
Richard Smith, the Managing Director of Richard Smith (M I) Ltd who made the new trumpets, said: “It’s the sound that people associate with all great state occasions, and it all starts right here in our North Yorkshire workshop.
“We carefully craft our trumpets by hand to ensure a sound fit for a king or queen,” he said. Each trumpet takes a week to complete.
The first official engagement and formal debut for the new instruments will be at a dinner at the Mansion House in London for the Lord Mayor and Her Majesty’s judges.
The Ministry of Defence has confirmed details of the contribution of members of the Armed Forces to the royal wedding and units with a special relationship with Prince Harry will provide ceremonial support at the wedding and during the carriage procession.
Members of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment will form a step lining party at St George’s Chapel. State Trumpeters and a travelling Escort of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment will provide ceremonial support.
Prince Harry joined The Blues and Royals (Royal Horse Guards Dragoon), Household Cavalry Regiment in April 2006, undertaking two tours of Afghanistan and rising to the rank of Captain.
State Trumpeters are drawn from all ranks of the Band of the Household Cavalry. They will have joined the Corps of Army Music and attended riding school before being selected for the role. They have to memorise up to 22 different fanfares.
Modern trumpets started life as straight instruments more than 800 years ago. They played only four or five natural notes. In the 14th Century, the instruments were folded up into a ‘S’ shape to make them more convenient to use for signalling on ship or horseback.