Editor’s note: Our first night in London was decidedly “old school”:
“On two successive evenings each year in June a magnificent pageant of military music, precision drill and colour takes place on Horse Guards Parade in the heart of London when the Massed Bands of the Household Division carry out the Ceremony of Beating Retreat.
“It is an unforgettable evening as 300 musicians, drummers and pipers perform this age-old ceremony. The Retreat has origins in the early days of chivalry when beating or sounding retreat pulled a halt to the days fighting, a return to camp and the mounting of the guard for the night. Today, Beating Retreat, has become a major event in the Army’s ceremonial calendar, delivering an evening of spirited marches as well as poignant and evocative hymns and anthems of special significances to our fighting forces everywhere.
“The salute is taken by Her Majesty The Queen or another member of The Royal Family.
“The participants of Household Division Beating Retreat are drawn from the bands of the two Household Cavalry Regiments and the five Foot Guards Regiments which make up the Household Division.”
(Source: Beating Retreat)
Here’s an iPhone video from our son: