The Queen disliked loud music but engaging with and enjoying performances was very important to her, recall staff at British hire company RG Jones.

Sound provision ‘with a sensitive touch’ for the Queen

British hire company RG Jones has shared staff memories of providing sound services “with a sensitive touch” at royal family events.

The company has published details of its history of royal work, after offering condolences on the passing of the Queen.

A company’s statement said: “Sound provision for any event where Her Majesty the Queen was in attendance required a sensitive touch. She was renowned for not liking loud music, but to engage with and enjoy a performance was very important to her.

“Endless Royal Variety Performances and Royal Galas in many of the country’s best-known theatres saw her seated in the Royal Box. This was invariably positioned very close to the proscenium arch where very often there would be a significant chunk of high-powered loudspeakers.

“This would be the only place where these could go to enable decent coverage for the rest of the auditorium. A tricky one, that would involve very careful signal matrixing and level balancing from one act to the next.”

RG Jones was most recently on royal duty for the Accession Council which proclaimed King Charles III at The Royal Exchange in London.

The company has also provided sound services for investitures (where people received honours from the Queen or another member of the royal family), for state visits (by visiting heads of government) and even the Queen’s opening of the Centre for Elephant Care at Whipsnade Zoo.

A particularly memorable occasion was the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in 2018 which was spread across some of the most prestigious venues in London, including the City of London Guildhall, The Mansion House and Buckingham Palace.

The Coronation Festival in 2013, celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s coronation, also saw a spectacular event held in the back garden of Buckingham Palace.

“It is hard to imagine a more sensitive site on which to install a large stage and all the technical infrastructure that goes with it, especially when the backstage area was literally up against the wall of the palace,” the company said.

Other occasions which were memorable for their challenges included the extreme cold at the Queen’s opening of the Thames Barrier, which keeps the North Sea from flooding London, in 1984. There was overnight work on the sound systems for ceremonies involving the Queen at a new Lloyds of London insurance building in 1986, where architect Richard Rogers brief was for an interior uncluttered by structural elements and services. The company also provided sound services when the Queen was asked to launch a ship.

Reference : AVinteractive