The Band of the Irish Guards
Presentation of new Irish Guards Regimental Colour, May 2022 at Windsor Castle ahead ofÂ
Her Majesty The Queen's Birthday Parade in Her Majesty's Platinum Jubilee year
The Band of the Irish Guards was formed in 1900 and quickly gained a reputation for excellence. At the outbreak of the First World War, the Band was kept very busy sustaining morale at home and encouraging recruitment. In 1916, and 1917 it took a turn with the other Foot Guards bands to undertake a three-month tour of duty with the Guards Division in France and Belgium, giving numerous concerts to the men during their periods of rest and recuperation. In May 1917 the Band was part of the Massed Bands that made a visit to Paris at the request of the French government and this was the first time that all five Foot Guards bands appeared on parade together.
During the Second World War, the Band sailed to Algiers in 1943 and gave numerous concerts to the troops during the North African and Italian campaigns, reaching Naples, and finally returning home in 1944. In 1948, the Band travelled to Palestine to support the Guards' battalions involved in the troubles. In more recent times, three members of the Band served in the first Gulf War of 1990/91, and in June 1999 the Band deployed to Kosovo as part of a NATO peacekeeping force.
Over the years the band has toured extensively, from their eleven-week coast-to-coast tour of North America in 2010, to visit Canada in 2013 and Denmark in 2017.Â Quintets from the band have also provided musical support in Pakistan, Israel and Cyprus. When the Irish Guards celebrated its centenary in 2000, the Band made history by performing a concert in the National Concert Hall in Dublin with the Irish Defence Forceâs Number One Band. This was the first visit to Ireland by a British Army band since 1922 and was a great success, filling the 1,200-seat hall to capacity. A number of former Band members have continued their careers with national orchestras, including the HallĂ© Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
Throughout its proud history, the Bandâs prime duty has been to play for the âChanging the Guardâ at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle, and it has always been at the forefront of all great national occasions, whether joyful, such as Coronations, Jubilees, Birthday Parades and National Celebrations, or perfectly reflecting the sombre mood at State Funerals or remembrance events.