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Guns N’ Roses’ timeless ‘November Rain’ video just got a record-setting one billion views on YouTube

‘November Rain’ is the first video from the 1990s to reach the landmark.

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Guns N’ Roses may have peaked in the 1990s before their lead guitarist Slash quit the band in 1996, but that doesn’t mean the band’s legacy has died or faded away – quite the opposite. The year 2018 has been a big one for the American band in more ways than one.

The band is currently on a landmark reunion tour, Not in This Lifetime, which, according to Forbes, is closing in on $500 million in revenue, making it the fourth-highest grossing tour of all time. At the same time, their classic 1987 debut album Appetite For Destruction, which is one of the most successful albums in recording history, recently made a comeback to the top 10 of the Billboard 200 chart after more than 29 years.

On top of all of this, the music video (above) for the group’s timeless ballad November Rain just set a record on YouTube, by crossing the billion-view landmark. Forbes reports that this makes November Rain the first music video from the 1990s to hit the billion mark, and also the first video that was created before the YouTube era to achieve it.

To be sure, this is nothing compared to, say, Luis Fonsi’s Despacito, which has over five billion views, but for a band that was making music videos before YouTube even existed, it’s a pretty impressive feat. Guns N’ Roses is also the biggest band from the 1980s on YouTube, thanks to the video for Sweet Child O’ Mine, which has over 692 million views.

November Rain is the same video in which frontman and lead vocalist Axl Rose is portrayed as marrying model Stephanie Seymour, with Slash playing those slick guitar solos in front of the deserted church. A lesser known fact is that the video, which was directed by Andy Morahan, was inspired by a short story titled Without You by Del James, in which a blues musician tries to cope with with the suicide of his girlfriend.

November Rain has been a steady hit since it was released 26 years ago, and the video was averaging over half a million views every day in 2017, with much of the band’s popularity coming from Latin countries like Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Colombia. It remains one of the most expensive videos of all time, with a budget of $1.5 million.

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Decoding the symbolic threads and badges of one of India’s oldest cavalry units

The untold story of The President’s Bodyguard.

The national emblem of India; an open parachute and crossed lances – this triad of symbols representing the nation, excellence in training and valor respectively are held together by an elite title in the Indian army – The President’s Bodyguard (PBG).

The PBG badge is worn by one of the oldest cavalry units in the India army. In 1773, Governor Warren Hastings, former Governor General of India, handpicked 50 troopers. Before independence, this unit was referred to by many titles including Troops of Horse Guards and Governor General’s Body Guards (GGBG). In 1950, the unit was named The President’s Bodyguard and can be seen embroidered in the curved maroon shoulder titles on their current uniforms.

The President’s Bodyguard’s uniform adorns itself with proud colours and symbols of its 245 year-old-legacy. Dating back to 1980, the ceremonial uniform consists of a bright red long coat with gold girdles and white breeches, a blue and gold ceremonial turban with a distinctive fan and Napoleon Boots with spurs. Each member of the mounted unit carries a special 3-meter-long bamboo cavalry lance, decorated by a red and white pennant. A sheathed cavalry sabre is carried in in the side of the saddle of each trooper.

While common perception is that the PBG mainly have ceremonial duties such as that of being the President’s escort during Republic Day parade, the fact is that the members of the PBG are highly trained. Handpicked by the President’s Secretariat from mainstream armored regiments, the unit assigns a task force regularly for Siachen and UN peace keeping operations. Moreover, the cavalry members are trained combat parachutists – thus decorating the PBG uniform with a scarlet Para Wings badge that signifies that these troopers are a part of the airborne battalion of the India Army.

Since their foundation, the President’s Guard has won many battle honors. In 1811, they won their first battle honor ‘Java’. In 1824, they sailed over Kalla Pani for the first Burmese War and earned the second battle honour ‘Ava’. The battle of Maharajapore in 1843 won them their third battle honor. Consequently, the PBG fought in the main battles of the First Sikh War and earned four battle honours. Post-independence, the PBG served the country in the 1962 Indo-China war and the 1965 Indo-Pak war.

The PBG, one of the senior most regiments of the Indian Army, is a unique unit. While the uniform is befitting of its traditional and ceremonial role, the badges that augment those threads, tell the story of its impressive history and victories.

How have they managed to maintain their customs for more than 2 centuries? A National Geographic exclusive captures the PBG’s untold story. The documentary series showcases the discipline that goes into making the ceremonial protectors of the supreme commander of the Indian Armed Forces.

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The National Geographic exclusive is a landmark in television and is being celebrated by the #untoldstory contest. The contest will give 5 lucky winners an exclusive pass to the pre-screening of the documentary with the Hon’ble President of India at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. You can also nominate someone you think deserves to be a part of the screening. Follow #UntoldStory on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to participate.

This article was produced by Scroll marketing team on behalf of National Geographic and not by the Scroll editorial team.