Royal Air Force musicians have played a central role in Their Majesties King Charles III and Queen Camilla’s Coronation.
At the Coronation Service in Westminster Abbey and during The King’s Coronation Parade, 140 members of RAF Music helped provide the musical accompaniment to the historic occasion.
Inside Westminster Abbey, The Fanfare Trumpeters of the Royal Air Force marked ceremonial moments in the Service with a series of specially written fanfares. Solemn oaths taken by The King were punctuated by the sound of the RAF musicians’ fanfares, which also rang out following the crowning of the monarch.
The seven Fanfare Trumpeters, conducted by Principal Director of Music, Wing Commander Piers Morrell OBE MVO, were drawn from across RAF Music. Written for the Coronation by Christopher Robinson, the fanfares were heard around the world as the Service was beamed into millions of homes across the UK, Commonwealth, and beyond.
Outside, after parading the RAF personnel lining the procession route into position, the Band of the Royal Air Force Regiment took up position near the Westminster Abbey and were the first band to play the Royal Salute as the newly crowned King and Queen made their way back to Buckingham Palace.
"It is an absolute honour to hold this role, having also led at the Platinum Jubilee in my two years as Drum Major.
The early starts and long days on our feet have been challenging, but the good spirits and humour of the band has kept us in good form. For me the highlight was being the first band to play the Royal Salute as His Majesty left Westminster Abbey."
Flight Sergeant Scott
Drum Major, RAF Music
The Combined Bands of the Royal Air Force led the RAF Contingent as it made its way to and from Waterloo Station and during the procession from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace.
"It was the greatest honour to perform as part of the Coronation Celebrations and it is events such as these that initiated my interest in joining the RAF - simply, it’s why we do our job! His Majesty The King is our new boss and to play a tiny part in supporting his Accession and Coronation Celebration truly is a very special moment, both professionally and personally."
Air Specialist (Class 1) Poppy Ewence
The 80-piece Combined Bands of the Royal Air Force was made up of personnel from all four RAF bands; The Central Band of the RAF, the Band of the RAF Regiment, the Band of the RAF College and the Band of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force. They led the RAF Contingent near the head of the parade from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace.
"Being involved in King Charles III and Queen Camilla’s coronation is the pinnacle of a career spent delivering music support to State Ceremonial for the Royal Household, the Service and the United Kingdom."
Wing Commander Piers Morrell
Principal Director of Music RAF
RAF Music Services was established in 1918 and provides a range of musical support for the RAF to support state occasions and enhance the perception of the UK at home and overseas.