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His Majesty The King attends the Mountbatten Festival of Music

13 March 2023
His Majesty The King appeared in Royal Marines uniform for the first time in his role as Captain General of the Royal Marines at the Mountbatten Festival of Music.

The world-famous Massed Bands of His Majesty’s Royal Marines played their spectacular annual showpiece at the Royal Albert Hall in front of The King, who was dressed in the Corps’ distinct red officers mess dress.

In front of a packed Royal Albert Hall, the Band – whose members are among the world’s finest military musicians – played a special opening fanfare dedicated to His Majesty, called ‘The King, Our Captain General’.

The title of the music refers to the Royal Marines’ loyal toast when King George VI – who is the last monarch to do so – held the title of Captain General; it is a custom that has now been reinstated by His Majesty, King Charles III.

Warrant Officer First Class Ivan Hutchinson, who composed the special piece for The King, said: “Composing a fanfare to celebrate the appointment of His Majesty as the new Captain General was a real privilege.

“To hear it performed by the massed bands in the Royal Albert Hall, in the presence of The King himself was an unforgettable experience.”

The stunning night of pageantry also celebrated the special bond between the United Kingdom and the Netherlands on the 50th anniversary year of The UK and Netherlands Amphibious Force. To mark the milestone, a piece named ‘Qua Patet Orbis’ – which translates to As Far as the World Extends and is the motto of the Dutch Marines – was played and the evening included the Regimental March, Defileermars der Koninklijke Marine, of the Dutch Marines.

The Netherland Marine Corps Band’s Pipes and Drums played alongside their fellow Royal Marines musicians as head of the Royal Netherlands Navy, Vice Admiral René Tas, and the Commandant of the Netherlands Marine Corps, Brigadier General Jan Hut, attended as guests in the Royal Box. Other members of the Dutch Navy and Marines were also present throughout the performances.

The United Kingdom and Netherlands Amphibious Force is Europe’s oldest combined force and has bound the two nations through common purpose, joint training and shared history dating back to 1814.

In today’s uncertain world, together the UK and the Netherlands work tirelessly at the heart of NATO and the Joint Expeditionary Force to protect the values and the prosperity of the two nations.

Another piece of music – ‘The Forgotten War’ – was composed by Band Sergeant Craig Sanders and commemorated the 70th anniversary of the Korean Armistice Agreement following the bloody Korean War. More than 20,000 sailors and Royal Marines served in the Korean War, suffering 182 casualties.

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