The British Military Tournament is back for the 4th year running in December 2013. It is an incredible and unforgettable show celebrating the military now and historically. Welcoming hundreds of people in the audience, this year’s show is said to be the best yet.

This year the British Military Tournament will be narrated by Anthony Andrews, a famous British actor. There is also an exhibition area where audience members are invited to gaze at incredible sights including helicopters from wars gone by. With so much going on, you definitely get your money’s worth!

Below is a more in-depth guide to some of the things you will find at the Tournament.

The ‘Royal Tournament’

Between 1880 and 1999 the British Armed Forces held the ‘Royal Tournament’ every year, with the exception of the World War years. It began with the Royal Agricultural Show and was later moved to the Earl’s Court Exhibition Centre.

When it began, the show was literally a series of competitions competed in by members of the British Armed Forces. However, in the first few years this didn’t attract large audiences, so they expanded the show to include more events such as music and re-enactments.

Earls court hosts this great tournament.
Earls court hosts this great tournament.

The Royal Tournament is named in the history books as the oldest and biggest military tattoo in the entire world. However as the years passed, ticket sales dropped, until eventually in 1998 the Royal Tournament actually made a loss. After the 1999 Tournament the event stopped to save military money as it appeared people weren’t interested anymore.

In 2010 the event made a return as the British Military Tattoo and has been successfully running for the past 3 years. It is hoped that this will continue as a yearly event again, with each service ‘hosting’ an event every year. For example, the Marines may host one year, and another service the next.

What’s In the Show?

This year’s show is set to have audiences perched on the edge of their seats. It will include amazing re-enactments, high-speed chases, daring stunts, and for the first time ever, audiences will get a glimpse into battlefields of the future through the latest modern technology.

Audiences have the chance to meet serving soldiers, sailors and airmen in the exhibition area, as well as some of the amazing military kit that the armed forces have today.

This year’s show will include re-enactments of the Arab Revolt led by Lawrence of Arabia, a motorised tribute to the Battle of Falkland and the White Helmets Motorcycle Display Team amongst many other things.

Where, When and How Much?

This year’s event is located in Earls Court, London from 7th – 8th December. Tickets start from £29:75 for adults, and £22:75 for under 16’s, with group booking and family tickets available too.

The British Military tournament is a big part of military tradition.
The British Military tournament is a big part of military tradition.

Who can go?

The British Military Tournament is a great event suitable for most everyone, except children aged under 5. With so much to see and marvel at, this incredible show has something for lots of different people. Whether you are particularly interested in the military and history, or even if you’re not, the pure entertainment factor of this show is brilliant.

It’s a great event to go to with friends, family, or your spouse. Whether you’re looking for an interesting and unusual date, or a birthday trip out for a friend, this great event is suitable for lots of things.


In conclusion, the British Military Tournament is an exciting and vibrant event that is happening this December. With so much variety in store, it’s sure to be a great experience.

Image credits: Osde8ifno and The U.S. Army

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