|Alternative Spellings||Band of H.M. Grenadier Guards, Grenadier Guards|
In 1685 Charles II allowed the band to maintain 12 "hautbois" (oboe) players. His death in 1685 was so significant for the band that until the Second World War, the Bass Drummer, wore a black armband in mourning of the king's death.
The size of the ensemble has changed over time, starting off with between twelve and nineteen players, in the 18th century to a peak in numbers by the end of the 1970s of seventy musicians. Today there are 42 band members.
The band went to Paris in 1815 as part of the victory celebrations after the Battle of Waterloo. In 1872 the band were the first British uniformed soldiers to enter the United States since the War of 1812. In the modern era, it last toured the US in 2003, when it gave performances over a period of three months, at over sixty venues, visiting forty states. The Band often tours overseas and has visited Belgium, Denmark, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany, Bosnia, and Australia.
The Band has been a witness to all London's key historic events, both tragic and joyful. It raised morale during the darkest hours of the Second World War; its uplifting music ushered in a new beginning at the coronation of the present queen.
The "British Grenadiers March” is one of the most recognizable and memorable tunes in the world, part of Britain's musical heritage. One of the band's admirers during the 18th century was George Frideric Handel. He demonstrated this by presenting the march from Scipio to the regiment before he included it in his opera of that name when it was first performed in 1726.
Throughout Britain's history the music of the Grenadier Guards has been the backdrop to its national life and identity. It represents Britain's constancy, dignity and artistry. Wikipedia