Watch the Household Division’s Beating Retreat for a uniquely British spectacle featuring the Queen’s Foot Guards and the Household Cavalry on Horse Guards Parade.
Always performed on the Wednesday and Thursday evenings before the Queen’s Birthday Parade (Trooping the Colour) in June, Beating Retreat is a sunset pageant of precision drill, horses, cannons and fireworks, all accompanied by music from around 300 musicians from the Massed Bands of the Household Division.
On at least one evening, the Queen or a senior member of the British Royal Family usually attends and takes the salute.
Beating Retreat refers to a 17th-century military drum call, which was once used at night to signal to nearby units that it was time to return to camp. Now, it is a spectacular musical ceremony practised across the Commonwealth. The drill continues to wow crowds on summer evenings against the grand backdrop of Horse Guards Parade.