About the Royal Tournament
For anyone who was not lucky enough to witness the Royal Tournament in person or didn’t have the opportunity to see the television coverage, it’s difficult to imagine the scale of the Royal Tournament. The Tournament began as a series of skill at arms competitions however; it quickly evolved to include military bands and a variety of acts and displays.
Staged in London each summer, the Tournament was different each year. In the latter years, each Tournament was given a theme as each of the three armed services took it in turn to take the lead. The opening and finale of each show would often include huge numbers of musicians and performers.
Two elements of the Tournament earned a place in the programme each year. These were the Royal Navy Field Gun Competition which was a part of the Tournament from 1907 and the Musical Drive by the Royal Artillery.
The First Musical Drive was performed at the 1896 Tournament. The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery was formed in 1947 on the instruction of King George VI, the troop performed at each Royal Tournament until 1999.
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1988 Royal Tournament - Opening