English Boy Choir Costumes: Royal Services


Figure 1.-- Along with the Choir there were boys participating in different outfits than the Choristers. These other boys were also singing. They are outfitted very differently from the rest of the Choir. They do not look to be part of the Choir, although we are not sure. I am not sure who these boys are and what costumes that the boys are wearing.

The Westminster Abbey Choir is involved in a range of royal events, including marriages, coronations, funerals and others. The Choir sung at the funeral of Britain's beloved Queen Mum. Along with the Choir there were boys participating in different outfits than the Choristers. These other boys were also singing. They are outfitted very differently from the rest of the Choir. They do not look to be part of the Choir, although we are not sure. I am not sure who these boys are and what costumes that the boys are wearing. They are earing fancy red uniforms with gold trim. Hopfully our British readers will provide some insights here.

A HBC reader writes, " I think the boys are royal pages and are nevertheless singing hymns (although not the more complex service music) with the choir at some service at which royalty is present -- possibly at Westminster Abbey or St. Paul's Cathedral. (In this case it is West Minster Abbey.) But I shall ask an Anglican priest friend of mine, who will probably be able to answer the question definitely." His comments were, "This is a picture of Westminster Abbey (note the choirboys in red cassocks, as contrasted with the scarlet of the Pages). The three boys in front are seated in the Aisle of the Choir, in front of the first desk, and are in Royal livery for the service at which Her Royal Magesty the Queen and the Royals were present. The Pages are singing from the service leaflet, not a musical score, so it's a hymn (or maybe the beginning of God Save the Queen). The Pages are probably on hand to fetch the coronets for the lesser nobility after the Burial of the Dead, before the Committal and National Anthem. They are not part of the choir at all." Another reader tells us, "The uniforms the boys are wearing are those of a 'Royal Page'. They're role is to escort the member of the royal family down the aisle of the church. Note the black arm bands in honor of the Queen Mum."






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Created: October 3, 2003
Last updated: October 5, 2003