The State Trumpeters of the Household Cavalry will perform inside St George’s Chapel at the funeral service of His Royal Highness, The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. There are four trumpeters who will be led by Trumpet Major, Julian Sandford. Among the quartet is Julian’s wife, Lance Corporal of Horse Kate Sandford, alongside Warrant Officer Class 2, Matthew Screen, and Lance Corporal of Horse, Michael Sinclair.
Being so heavily involved with state ceremonial duty, the State Trumpeters regularly met His Royal Highness.
During a brief break in their relentless practicing for Saturday’s funeral, the Trumpeters revealed their recollections of being with the Duke and what he meant to them and so many more in the Armed Forces.
Warrant Officer Class 2 Matthew Screen: “I can recall playing at one of the many Duke of Edinburgh Gold Awards, there were two ceremonies held back to back, one in the morning and the other in the afternoon.
"Prince Philip would often walk through and either ask the cellist, where is the spike put when riding our horses or what’s on the flip side [referring to the old LP records]?
"He would then turn the music over to look whilst we were still playing and then walk off mischievously grinning, but it was always a real pleasure to be around him."
Prince Philip would often walk through and ask what’s on the flip side [referring to the old LP records]? He would then turn the music over to look whilst we were still playing and then walk off mischievously grinning, but it was always a real pleasure to be around him. WO2 Screen
Lance Corporal of Horse Kate Sandford: “Saturday’s funeral is an engagement that everyone wants to do and would like to be picked for.
"You’ve worked so hard to be part of a team and be able to perform with, but paradoxically you don’t want it to happen.
"It is a little bit nerve wracking, but in this team of trumpet players, I have three esteemed colleagues in their own right and I’m so lucky to be able to perform with them.
"They have taught me so much through my career. I admire them, they have inspired me so much and I feel very privileged to perform with them as team.
"His Royal Highness had such a close connection with the military; I unfortunately never got the chance to meet him, but you hear so much and so many stories of what he did for the Duke of Edinburgh Awards - he was such a very inspirational man.”
Lance Corporal of Horse Michael Sinclair: “The funeral will be a mixture of apprehension and excitement at being involved in such an event.
"You spend a lot of years working up to being on a team like this undertaking all sorts of engagements where there is less pressure and less scrutiny, but this is what you work towards as much as you don’t want to have to do these things it is a real honour to be involved.
"It is a culmination of a lot of hard work, practice and commitment to the instrument as well.
"Every time I was with the Duke, he struck me as someone of immense character and instinctively knew exactly what to ask you to make you feel comfortable and less nervous about what was going on.”
One little known, yet quite poignant fact - underneath each sleeve of the State Trumpeters’ heavily gold braided ceremonial jackets lies a black band of material which Queen Victoria introduced to mark the death of her beloved Prince Albert.