Marches Madness: Royal Wedding Edition

Mar 26, 2013

It's Marches Madness! Throughout this month, we're posting some of our favorite marches — from the concert hall, opera stage and parade ground. Got one we should hear? Played any yourself? Let us know in the comments section.

The 2011 wedding of England's Prince William and Catherine Middleton bore more than a passing resemblance to his parents' ceremony 30 years earlier. One piece of music was heard on both occasions: William Walton's Crown Imperial.

Composed for the abandoned 1937 coronation of Edward VIII but used for George VI, this march spices the Victorian stateliness of Elgar with some jittery modern syncopation. It was also heard at the coronation of Elizabeth II, along with a new Walton march, Orb and Sceptre.

Her son Charles and his new wife Diana left St. Paul's Cathedral to Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance March No. 4. While the TV cameras followed their carriage ride through London, the remaining dignitaries exited to Crown Imperial, as you can see in this program from the service.

William and Kate elevated Walton's march to prime time by choosing it as their processional, though its end was obscured by the pealing of bells — which lasted more than three hours.

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