The Household Division's Beating Retreat is a colourful pageant of military music and precision drill carried out by the the Mounted Bands of the Household Cavalry, the Massed Bands of the Household Division and guest performers.
Beating Retreat is a musical spectacular, which takes place two successive evenings in June, where horses, cannons, fireworks, the Massed Bands of the Household Division and guest performers put on a show which will have you on the edge of your seat.
Described as 'truly spectacular' and 'London at its finest', the Household Division Beating Retreat cannot be seen anywhere else in the world and is an event not to be missed.
Tue 4 Wed 5 &Thur 6
Starts: 20:00 Ends 21:40
Venue: Horse Guards Parade
Tickets on sale Monday 4th January 12:00.
The Massed Bands of the Household Division and guest performers at Beating Retreat
Beating Retreat has its origins in the early years of organised warfare when beating or sounding retreat called a halt to the days fighting, a return to camp and the mounting of the guard for the night.
An order from the army of James II of England, dated to 18 June 1690, had his drums beating an order for his troops to retreat and a later order, from William III in 1694, read:
"The Drum Major and Drummers of the Regiment which gives a Captain of the Main Guard are to beat the Retreat through the large street, or as may be ordered.
They are to be answered by all the Drummers of the guards, and by four Drummers of each Regiment in their respective Quarters".
The original call of Retreat, to mark the end of the days fighting was beaten on drums as were most battle orders.
The use of brass bugles, as military signaling device, came to England in 1764 where it was gradually accepted in the foot regiments.
The Massed Bands we see today are a modern innovation, added to provide spectacle, to the Beating Retreat ceremony.
Address: Whitehall, London, SW1A 2AX
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By Bus - Bus Numbers: 11, 12, 159, 24, 3, 453, 53, 87, 88, N109, N11, N136, N155, N2, N3, N381, N44, N87
By Car - Not recommended, Whitehall is in the congestion charge zone. Parking is difficult to find and expensive.
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