SAN DIEGO – Just in time for St. Patrick's Day celebrations, the Band of the Irish Guards & Royal Regiment of Scotland will bring their pomp and pageantry to San Diego for two performances at Balboa Theatre on Sunday.
This unique performance by the combined company of 80 will be a royal celebration of Irish and English pipes, drums, and national anthems.
Since their formation over 100 years ago by Queen Victoria, this company has set the highest performing standards world-wide for bands and regiments.
Background and History
The Band of the Irish Guards was formed on April 1, 1900, by order of Queen Victoria in response to the courage shown by the Irish regiments during the Second Boer War of 1899-1902. The Irish Guards' first Colonel was Field Marshal Lord Roberts, known to many of the troops as "Bobs." Tjhus, the regiment gained the nickname "Bob’s Own," but today is affectionately known as "The Micks."
King Edward VII presented the regiment’s first colors in May 1902. This ceremony was held on Horse Guards Parade in London during the King’s Birthday Parade. Over a century later, in May 2009, the regiment had the honor of receiving new colors from Her Majesty the Queen at a ceremony in Windsor Castle.
A number of Irish Guardsmen saw action as mounted infantry in the final stages of the Boer War. Otherwise, for the first 14 years of its existence, the Irish Guards were stationed in the United Kingdom, performing ceremonial duties in London until the beginning of the First World War.
Members of the Irish Guards also won six Victoria Crosses in both World Wars. The regiment has been stationed in many parts of the world since 1945, including a number of conflict zones.
In 2003, it was deployed to Kuwait during the build-up to the Gulf War. The Irish Guards were part of the 7th Armoured Brigade (successor of the famed 7th Armoured Division, "The Desert Rats").
Upon crossing the Iraq border, the Brigade headed for Basra, gradually taking control of much of the area that surrounded Iraq's second-largest city. In 2005, the 1st Battalion, Irish Guards became the first unit to be officially awarded battle honors for service in Iraq. These battle honors were proudly displayed on the battalion's Queen’s Colour during the Sovereign's Birthday Parade that year.
In 2000, the 100th year of the formation of the Irish Guards, Liverpool granted them the freedom of the city. The following year the regiment took part in training exercises in Poland, Canada and Oman.
At the funeral of the Queen Mother in 2002, the coffin bearer-party was made up of Irish Guardsmen. This was a remarkable honor, given the fact that the late Queen Mother had no official connection with the Irish Guards, despite her long-standing identification with the regiment.
For performance times view our Events Calendar and for tickets, which range from $39 - $69, visit