The famous Band of the Coldstream Guards will be performing on the neighbouring island of Minorca at the end of the month, as part of celebrations commemorating the bicentenary of the Treaty of Amiens, under which Britain handed the island back to Spain. The Band will perform on April 27 at a ceremony during which a plaque dedicated to the British military engineer Mackellar, who designed the town of Es Castell, will be unveiled. On April 26, British historian Mr Paul Latcham will give a lecture on Mackellar at the town hall. The Band of the Coldstream Guards has a history going back to May 16, 1785, when 12 German musicians were enlisted by HRH the Duke of York, Colonel of the Regiment, to replace the eight civilian performers who had previously supplemented the Drums for the purpose of playing the King's Guards to the Palace and back. The regiment itself is the oldest serving regular regiment in the British Army. It is directly descended from Monck's Regiment of Foot, formed on August 13, 1650, by Oliver Cromwell, who took five companies from the Regiment of George Fenwick and five from the Regiment of Sir Arthur Hazelrigg, then Governor of Newcastle. Both these formations had been raised as part of the New Model Army in 1645 and Cromwell formed the new regiment for Colonel George Monck, whose military qualities had impressed him. The visit to the island by the Band of the Coldstream Guards has been paid for by local expatriates, and is part of a major celebration of the Treaty of Amiens which started in January and will continue until the end of the year. Celebrations have been organised by the Spanish Defence Ministry, the Balearic government the Council of Minorca and the town councils of Es Castell and Mahon. Other highlights include an exhibition on 18th century Minorca in Ciutadela in May, a visit by the famous Spanish Navy training ship Juan Sebastian Elcano from May 9 to 12, and a commemoration reproducing the handing over of Minorca by the English troops to the Spanish at La Mola on May 11. The Royal Regiment Princess of Wales and Royal Artillery will be taking part in this display, along with military formations with flags and uniforms of the period. Another major exhibition will be held in August, reproducing Minorcan life in 1802, with paintings, maps and other objects.


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