Lance Corporal Kate Sandford, from the band of the Household Cavalry, will help sound the fanfare to mark the arrival of Meghan Markle as she takes her first steps inside St George’s Chapel tomorrow.
The 29-year-old from Windsor will be making history as the first female trumpeter to ever play at a royal wedding. “We’re all so proud and feel very privileged to be part of the fanfare team,” Sandford said. “We’ve had quite a few rehearsals. Whenever we are at work we pick up our trumpets and have a rehearsal.”
“It means an awful lot. To get picked for something so prestigious makes you feel very lucky. It’s a dream come true.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Sandford will be the First Female State Trumpeter to Ever Play at a British Royal Wedding
Lance Corporal Kate Sandford will become the first female State Trumpeter ever to play at a British Royal wedding when Prince Harry and his fiancee tie the knot on May 19, according to the Daily Mail.
According to the Daily Mail, women have been allowed to join the Band of the Household Cavalry since the mid 1990s, but no woman has yet played a Royal bride down the aisle.
She will join her husband Lance Corporal Julian Sandford as two of six trumpeters who will provide Markle with a glorious fanfare to walk in to.
2. Sandford and her Husband will be the First Married Couple to Perform Together at a British Royal Wedding
Sandford and her husband married in December, and will now be known as the first married couple to perform the prestigious duty at a British Royal wedding, according to the Daily Mail.
When they were married, their colleagues played Sandford up the aisle, and now Sanford will be playing for Markle as she walks down the asile.
Sandford joined the State Trumpeters five years ago and is incredibly excited for the big wedding day.
“I feel very proud,” she told the Sunday Telegraph. “I’ll be very excited on the day but you’ve got to keep your head on your shoulders and play to the best of your ability.”
3. Sandford is Often Confronted with Surprised Reactions when Playing State Events
Sandford told the Daily News that she has been confronted several times with excited people pointing and stating “there’s a lady!” when she plays at state events.
According to her husband, “I think personally it’s just a really proud moment to represent Britain at its best and show how it does pageantry.”
State Trumpeters are easily recognizable with their long gold coats and are often seen at major state events or anniversaries.
The Band of The Household Cavalry was only formed in 2014 by joining two original groups – The Life Guards and The Blues & Royals.
They are the largest symphonic wind band in the British Army.
4. Sandford has a Message for Young Girls Everywhere: “Any Young Female Can do What I do”
When she first joined the State Trumpeters, she said, many people were “taken aback” by her presence in the group. Nowadays, she said, the presence of women in the ranks has become much more normalized.
“Any young female can do what I do,” she declared during an appearance on Good Morning America. “You have to be prepared to work for it, but the opportunities are there and you can achieve them — whatever you want to do, whatever your goal.”
Check out her full Good Morning America interview below:
5. It Should Come as No Surprise that Meghan Markle, a Self-Proclaimed Feminist, Has the First Female Trumpeter Playing at her Wedding
Markle is not shy about her feminist beliefs; she believes in equality, regardless of gender or race.
According to CNN, when Markle was 11, she saw a commercial for Ivory dishwashing liquid in class with the tagline “Women all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans.” Apparently two boys in her class proclaimed that women belong in the kitchen, and it upset her significantly. Her dad suggested she write letters, so she did. She wrote to the most powerful women she knew – Hillary Clinton, “Nick News” host Linda Ellerbee and attorney Gloria Allred — and she also wrote to the parent company responsible for the ad, Procter & Gamble.
CNN reports that Markle received letters back from the three women, there was a “Nick News” special on her letter, and Procter & Gamble changed its ad tagline from “Women all over America” to “People all over America.” Before she had even reached her teenage years, Markle had become an activist and an important voice for women everywhere.
Markle told the “People all over America” story in 2015 at the UN Women Conference in New York, where Clinton also spoke, according to CNN. Her opening statement declared, “I am proud to be a woman and a feminist.”
Check out all of Heavy’s coverage of the royal wedding.