Fujifilm FinePix F700 Photo #11 Beating the Retreat . London 2005

On two successive evenings in June, London's famous Horse Guards Parade, off Whitehall in the centre of the city, resounds to the stirring sounds of the Massed Bands of the Household Division as they perform Beating Retreat, one of the major spectacles in the capital's ceremonial calendar. The event starts at 7 pm each evening with the salute being taken by Her Majesty The Queen or another member of the royal family. Beating Retreat has its origins in the early years of organised warfare when the beating of drums and the parading of Post Guards heralded the closing of camp gates and the lowering of flags at the end of the day. An order from the army of James II of England, dated to 18 June 1690, had his drums beating an order for his troops to retreat and a later order, from William III in 1694, read "The Drum Major and Drummers of the Regiment which gives a Captain of the Main Guard are to beat the Retreat through the large street, or as may be ordered. They are to be answe...

Technical Details

1/125 s
23 mm
400 ISO