Wales

Royal wedding: Welsh Guards band's £1m CD deal

The Band of the Welsh Guards has signed a £1m record contract to release the songs it will perform at the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

The royal couple will marry at Westminster Abbey on Friday, 29 April, and it will have a soundtrack provided by the regimental band.

A Royal Tribute, showcasing the set list, is released before the big day on 4 April.

It includes a recital by Hollywood actor and Welshman Michael Sheen.

Sheen, who grew up in Port Talbot, follows in the footsteps of another Welshman, Richard Burton, by reciting an extract from Dylan Thomas's Under Milkwood against a backdrop of the band playing All Through The Night.

The album also includes Treorchy Male Choir and Welsh singers Aled Jones and Gwawr Edwards, and a performance by the Choir of Westminster Abbey.

Maj Stephen Barnwell, the band's director of music, said: "Guards bands are the backbone of royal ceremonies and are recognised the world over.

"Prince Charles is very close to the regiment and we are very proud to have his royal highness as our regimental colonel."

Album tracks include God Save The Queen, Land Of Hope And Glory and Land Of My Fathers, and combines the themes of royalty and Welsh heritage.

God Bless The Prince of Wales features a blaze of trumpets, choir and timpani, while Men Of Harlech was described by Maj Barnwell as "the best version I've ever heard played by a band".

Sheen said: "The Band of the Welsh Guards are a very loved and revered group and to be invited to work with them is wonderful and I'm in great company on this record."

The Welsh Guards were formed in 1915 and are one of the most famous regiments in the British Army, serving during World War I to current operations.

Around a quarter of the current band, which is based at Wellington barracks in London, is Welsh.

The band is entrenched in royal tradition with the Queen being the regiment's Colonel in Chief.

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