Spain: "Marcha Real" — The Coldstream Guards Band

The National Anthem of Spain is known traditionally as the "Grenadier March" or "Royal Spanish March". It does not have words, only music. Two versions exist: the complete and the abridged one. Either of them may be played but always completely and only once. The origin of the National Anthem can be traced back to a military piece called "Grenadier March", whose author is unknown, to be found in the year 1761 in the "Ordinance Book of Musical Military Pieces of the Spanish Infantry". King Charles III declared it the March of Honour on the 3rd September 1770. Nevertheless, it was usage and popular backing that converted this piece into the National Anthem, even though no legal provision was adopted in this sense. Spaniards came to consider the "Grenadier March" as their National Anthem and called it the "Royal March", since it was played in public acts which The King, The Queen or The Prince of the Asturias honoured with their presence. In 1870, General Prim convoked a national competition to create a National Anthem. The jury of the day made no award since it deemed that none of the marches submitted exceeded in quality the "Grenadier March", and advised the latter to be maintained. The Royal Circular Order dated 27th August 1908 decreed that military bands had to play the so-called Royal Spanish March and the so-called March of the Infantes, ordered by the Superior Musician of the Royal Corps of Halberdiers, Maestro Bartolomé Pérez Casas. The "Royal March" has always ...