The West of England Bandsmen’s Festival is pleased and honoured to announce that HRH The Prince of Wales, Duke of Cornwall, has agreed to extend his Patronage of the Festival, founded in 1912, for a further five years.
The Royal Family, and the Duke of Cornwall in particular, have had a long connection with the Festival, held annually in the village of Bugle in mid Cornwall. It was as far back as 1913, at the Second Festival, that the then Prince of Wales, Duke of Windsor, through the influence and friendship of Colonel Sir William Charles Eldon Serjeant CB, President of the Festival, presented it with a unique Trophy, the HRH The Prince of Wales Challenge Cup. Known as The Royal Trophy it has been awarded to the leading Band of the day ever since, and is the only one of its kind in the United Kingdom.
The Royal connection was strengthened in 1937 when the Duchy of Cornwall generously commenced the tradition of donating a Medal to each member of any Band that succeeded in winning The Royal Trophy three times in a row. The Duchy Steward travelled from London to award the first set of Medals that year. Just thirteen sets of the coveted Medals were awarded before the tradition came to an end in 2000.
On its Golden Jubilee in 1974 the Festival was further honoured when the present HRH The Prince of Wales, Duke of Cornwall, presented it with a silver inscribed Trumpet to be awarded to the leading Cornet Player of the day in the Championship Section.
In 2013, the Centenary of the presentation of the Royal Trophy, the Festival was pleased to receive a personal message from HRH Prince of Wales, Duke of Cornwall, and a personally signed Certificate from him to be presented to the Band winning the Royal Trophy.
Shortly after the 2013 Festival, Committee members of the Festival and members of the winning Band that day, the St Austell Band, had the privilege of showing the Royal Trophy to the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall on their visit to the local town of Lostwithiel.
The Festival is delighted that this Royal connection has continued to be further strengthened in this way. The Trustees always being mindful of maintaining the long established traditions of this open air festival, whilst endeavouring to ensure it reflects the requirements of the present day.