Re-visiting our Royal Roots - a Jubilee Special from the RPS Blog

01 Jun 2012

As Diamond Jubilee fever sweeps through England and the country is engulfed by bunting and Union Jacks, what better time to give a nod to the Royal Philharmonic Society’s royal affiliations – the clue, after all, is in the name.

The Society gave its first concert “under the immediate patronage of His Royal Highness the Prince Regent” in 1813. Many members were chuffed to see the court and aristocracy in attendance at the Society’s early concerts.  The financial benefits of this patronage, however, were questionable; His Royal Highness was not even expected to pay for his ticket. The Dukes of Cumberland, Sussex and Cambridge also regularly made appearances; the last was known to be passionate about music, in particular that of Bach. As it happens, the current Duke and Duchess of Cambridge chose to kick off their wedding last year with a bit of JSB too, suggesting good taste in music as well as dresses.
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Bob Lockyer: Seeing and hearing new dance with a specially composed score is exciting. That's why I asked the RPS to look after the Drummond Fund.


In 2002 the Society sold its historic archive of papers, letters and musical manuscripts to the British Library, where it is now open to the public from all over the world.