Prince Charles gave a speech to members of The Parachute Regiment and their families at a ceremony in Colchester yesterday (Tuesday).
The Prince of Wales, Colonel in Chief of the Parachute Regiment, has presented the Army’s world-renowned airborne battalions with new Colours (elaborately embroidered military ceremonial flags) at Merville Barracks.
It was a momentous and historic occasion: the last time Colours were presented to the Regiment was in 1998, and this month marks the 50th anniversary of HRH’s first parachute jump.
COVID -19 restrictions meant the once in a generation parade had to be socially distanced, and special dispensation had to be granted to allow for the 500 guests to attend in family bubbles, with prior testing for all.
The Prince was accompanied at the ceremony by the Parachute Regiment’s Colonel Commandant, Lieutenant General Sir John Lorimer. It was Sir John’s final event in the role. After 39 years of service with the Parachute Regiment and MOD, he has been appointed the next Lieutenant Governor of the Isle of Man.
At the start of the ceremony, the Old Colours were marched off parade, as the band of the Parachute Regiment played Auld Lang Syne.
Seven Parachute Regiment Royal Horse Artillery Guns fired a salute for the arrival of the Prince of Wales and the National Anthem was played.
His Royal Highness inspected the front rank of the parade, taking an avid interest in talking to the paratroopers representing the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Battalions of the Parachute Regiment.
After the inspection, The Prince undertook the formal presentation of the new Regimental Colours. The Colours were blessed, and he laid his hand on each as they were handed reverentially to the battalions.
Photo credits: Cpl Danny Houghton RLC
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