Royal Marine Band Service

RM Band Portsmouth

The origins of Royal Marine Bands in the Portsmouth area can be traced back to the middle of the 18th Century. The present Band is a direct descendant of the Band of the Royal Marine Artillery, formed in January 1861.

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By 1865 the Band numbered forty-six musicians and eight band boys. They were under the direction of Bandmaster John Winterbottom and were based at the Royal Marines Artillery Barracks, Eastney, Portsmouth.

It was during the reign of His Majesty King Edward VII that the Band first provided music aboard the Royal Yacht when, in 1902, they embarked in HMY Victoria and Albert on the occasion of the cruise made by the King for the restoration of his health. One year later the Band was appointed by His Majesty The King as the permanent Royal Yacht Band, a privileged duty they performed until the eventual decommissioning of HMY Britannia on the 11 December 1997.

On their appointment as the Royal Yacht Band in 1903 and when embarked, the musicians were authorised to wear a special split cap badge which consisted of a flaming grenade surrounded by laurel leaves. Following the visit to India by His Majesty King George V in HMS Medina for the Durbar at Delhi in 1911 the King ordered that his Royal Cypher GRV in silver was to be a permanent addition to the special cap badge and that it was to be worn by the Band at all times.

The title of the Royal Marines Band Portsmouth has changed many times - in 1923 on the amalgamation of the Royal Marines Artillery and the Royal Marines Light Infantry the Band became the Band of the Royal Marines, Portsmouth Division. This changed in 1947 when it became the Royal Marines Band, Portsmouth Group. In 1972 the title of the Band changed yet again, when it became the Band of Commander-in-Chief, Naval Home Command, and it is now known as the Band of Her Majesty's Royal Marines, Portsmouth.

In 1997 the Royal Yacht was decommissioned much to the sadness of all who served on her. The Royal Band has continued to stay in the public eye with televised events such as the Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance, the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, the Mountbatten Festival of Music and other state events such as the Queen Mother’s Funeral in 2002.

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Royal Marines 350

This year the Royal Marines celebrate their 350th anniversary. 350 years of unbroken service, of protecting the Nation's security. 350 years of timeless distinction. 

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Fact

The Band was appointed as the Royal Yacht Band by King Edward VII in 1903 and are known as 'The Royal Band'

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