The Royal Bermuda Regiment parades on four occasions each year led by the Band and Corps of Drums: The Peppercorn Parade, The King’s Birthday Parade, The Remembrance Day Parade and The Convening of the Legislature Parade. The Regiment also parades for the arrival and departure of our Commander in Chief, Her Excellency the Governor, and on the rare occasion of the Trooping of the Colours. The band performs the Beating the Retreat Ceremony during May, June, and July.
The Peppercorn Ceremony (A State Visit to the Town of St George by Her Excellency the Governor) is typically held on the Wednesday in April closest to St George's Day at King's Square St George. At the ceremony Her Excellency receives the Annual Rent for the State House from Freemasons Lodge 200 and holds a meeting of Governor’s Council, attended by the Premier and Cabinet Ministers.
Her Excellency arrives by Landau at King’s Square at 1058hrs where he will be met by The Mayor of St George. Her Excellency inspects a Guard of Honour furnished by The Royal Bermuda Regiment. The Mayor offers a welcome and Her Excellency offers a reply. Her Excellency then receives the Annual Rent of one Peppercorn for the use of the State House from the Master of Lodge 200. After the Bishop has offered a prayer and pronounced a blessing on the meeting’s deliberations, Her Excellency, preceded by the Officers of Lodge 200, will lead the Premier and Members of the Cabinet to the State House, which the Master of Lodge 200 will makes available for the meeting. After the meeting, Her Excellency will attend an official reception given by the Mayor.
HM the King's Birthday Parade
The King’s Birthday Parade is held annually in June on Front Street Hamilton at the Flag Pole. The Parade celebrates the official birthday of His Majesty King Charles III. The origins of the parade dates back to the reign of King George III when members of the British Household Division mounted a ceremonial parade in London; ever since a day has been set aside as the Sovereign's Official Birthday. We observe the tradition in Bermuda by holding a ceremonial military parade to mark the occasion.
The Parade is organised by the Royal Bermuda Regiment and, in addition to the Regiment Guards and Colour Party, units are provided by the Bermuda Police Service, Bermuda Reserve Police, Bermuda Junior Leaders and Sea Cadets.
Her Excellency the Governor arrives as His Majesty’s representative. Her Excellency inspects the Guards after which the Guards march past in line. Thereafter, the arrival of the King is symbolically recognized with the playing of the National Anthem and the unfurling of His Majesty’s standard. A salute to His Majesty—the feu-du-joie (“fire of joy”)—is given by the Regiment soldiers in three ripple-volleys, each being preceded by a seven round gun salute (21 total), and is followed by three hearty cheers in Her Majesty’s Honour. After the symbolic departure of His Majesty, the dignitaries depart and the Guards march off past the Cenotaph, saluting the fallen.
Convening of the Legislature Parade
The Convening of the Legislature Parade is typically held on the last Friday of October or the first Friday of November although dependent upon parliamentary cycle on Front Street facing the Cenotaph and Cabinet Building in Hamilton.
Parliament is convened by Her Excellency the Governor on Cabinet Grounds at 1100 hrs. The Bermuda Regiment provides a Guard of Honour on Front Street for the arrival and departure of Her Excellency. The Governor inspects the Guard of Honour and then dispatches Black Rod to summon the Members of Parliament. Her Excellency then reads the Throne Speech on behalf of the Government, outlining the planned programmes and legislation for the ensuing parliamentary year.
After Her Excellency’s departure from the grounds of the Cabinet Building, the Members of Parliament will proceed to the House of Assembly. The Guard, preceded by the Band and Corps of Drums, will march via Front Street, Queen Street, Church Street and King Street to the Fire Station.
The Remembrance Day Parade takes place every year on 11 November on the grounds of the Cabinet Building and on Front Street, Hamilton. It is a solemn parade and service at which Bermuda’s Fallen Heroes are remembered.
Guards of Honour form the Bermuda Regiment, Bermuda Police Service, Bermuda Reserve Police, Bermuda Fire Service, Bermuda Cadet Corps and Sea Cadets assemble on the lawn of the Cabinet Building, having marched on behind the Band and Corps of Drums of the Bermuda Regiment and The Salvation Army Bermuda Divisional Band. Once the Guards are in position, the War Veterans are marched on parade by the Combined Somerset Brigade and North Village Bands. Her Excellency the Governor arrives and inspect the War Veterans.
With hymns and prayers, local clergy conduct a service of remembrance. At 1100 hours the bugler sounds the Last Post. Wreaths are then laid in memory of the fallen by dignitaries, Service Chiefs and the Veterans themselves. The Reveille is played at the end of the service. The Veterans and Guards then march off parade.
Beating of the Retreat Ceremonies
The Beating of the Retreat Ceremonies take place once a month in May, June, and July at 2100 hrs in Hamilton, coinciding with Harbour Nights organized by the Chamber of Commerce.
Funded by the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs and the Bermuda Tourism Authority, the Royal Bermuda Regiment Band and Corps of Drums and Bermuda Islands Pipe Band Perform a Beating of the Retreat Ceremony. On occasion visiting band will also participate.
The Beating of the Retreat Ceremony, in its earliest form, was simply a drummers’ call. The Drum Major and his men would march around the camp or city streets playing drum taps to warn soldiers that it was time to return to their billets, put out their fires and go to bed. This performance was known as the retreat and many regretted that they did not heed the drummers’ call. Eventually, a pipe time was added to the drummers’ calls and a more elaborate ceremony emerged. Later on, bugle calls were added and the parade evolved into the present day Beating of the Retreat Ceremony.
The massed bands march on, perform separately and then re-mass for the evening hymn and the playing of Sunset, at which the flags are lowered signaling the end of the day. The bands then march past the guest of honour - Her Excellency the Governor, the Honourable Premier, Worshipful Mayors, et al.