Prince and Princess of Wales at Welsh Guards’ St David’s Day Parade

The Prince of Wales, Colonel of the Welsh Guards, was accompanied by the Princess of Wales, on a visit to the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards to attend the St David’s Day Parade at the Combermere Barracks in Windsor on March 1st. This was the first time the Prince and Princess have visited the Welsh Guards since the Prince become colonel of the Regiment.

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During the parade, the Prince presented leeks to the officers and guardsmen who will in turn issue it along the ranks, a traditional part of the St David’s Day Parade. The parade concluded with a march-past where the Prince took the royal salute. The Pricne gave a Speech:

Regimental Lieutenant Colonel, Officers, Warrant Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers, and Guardsmen of the Welsh Guards.

I am both honoured and delighted to be standing here in front of you today as your new Colonel. At the same time, I’m sorry that my father couldn’t be here with us here today to say farewell, but I know he would talk of his fierce pride and admiration for you all, and of his own sadness to be moving on from an appointment he held so dear since 1975.

The Welsh Guards have always been a formidable group of soldiers; raised for war in 1915. then leading the way on operations ever since. Key players in World War Two, The Falklands, Balkans, Iraq, and Afghanistan to name but a few – your Battle Honours underpin your fighting spirit of today.

The Jam Boys and Little Iron Men of the First World War laid the foundations of this Battalion. and while they may not have been my easiest or driest days in the Army, my memories with The Welsh Guards Sniper Platoon Salisbury Plain are some of my best.

Another key milestone in my life was also shared with the Welsh Guards, this time in the Jungles of Belize as I received my A-Level results over the Bowman Radio. . Many of you will know the feeling of being in the jungle; you’re incredibly hot, continuously soaking wet and with nowhere to hide from potentially horrendous results, it could have been a really bad day! Ultimately though, it was the camaraderie, the togetherness, and of course the banter of the Welsh Guards that got me through that period, and it’s a time I look back on fondly.

I believe it’s only with these bonds and this ‘togetherness’, that you can create a strong body of professional soldiers, but of course, it’s not just each other that we rely upon. The support of our families, our friends and our loved ones, is vital, and I’m so pleased to see many of them here today. None of us could do what we do without their support, and I look forward to meeting you and your families over the coming years and getting to know you all.

Thank you; Cymru Am Byth.

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Following the parade, the Prince and Princess sat for an official photograph with the Prince of Wales’s company. The Prince and Princess then met families from the regiment as well as a group of troops from the 5th Royal Australian Regiment (5RAR) who are currently in the UK helping to train the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

The Princess of Wales wore a Diamond Leek Brooch similar but not the same as the late Queen’s Welsh Guards Leek Brooch.

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