The Countess of Wessex has become the new Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME), a role previously held by The Duke of Edinburgh for over fifty years.
The Duke of Edinburgh served as Colonel-in-Chief of the Corps from 1969 and conducted many visits to the Corps, which combined His Royal Highness’s long-held support of the Armed Forces, and his love of engineering.
The role was also held by Princess Marina, The Duchess of Kent, from 1963 until 1968.
Formed in 1942, the Corps of REME is responsible for maintaining all the equipment the British Army operates.
REME Soldiers and Officers serve as an integral element of virtually every major unit in the Army: Infantry, Artillery, Royal Signals, Army Air Corps, Royal Armoured Corps and others including the Special Forces. Repairing tanks, helicopters, vehicles, weapons, communications equipment and more; whatever the Army uses, the REME maintains it.
In March, during a visit to the headquarters of 5th Battalion The Rifles, The Countess met REME soldiers currently attached to the Battalion, to hear about the work they do to support the unit’s activities.
For many years Sophie, the Countess of Wessex has enjoyed a close involvement with the British Military. In 2007, The Countess became Royal Colonel of 5th Battalion The Rifles and is also Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Corps of Army Music (RCAM) and of Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps (QARANC) and meets service personnel and their families whenever possible.
In 2006 Her Royal Highness was appointed Sponsor of HMS Daring and, in 2008, Honorary Air Commodore of Royal Air Force Wittering.
The Countess also holds two military positions in Canada: Colonel in-Chief of The South Alberta Light Horse and Colonel-in-Chief of the Lincoln and Well and Regiment.
Photographer: SAC Kimberley Watersonn – UK MOD © Crown copyright