03:50PM, Wednesday 05 May 2021
Prince Charles carried out his first public engagement since the funeral of his father by visiting the Welsh Guards at Combermere Barracks today.
The 72-year-old, who is Colonel of the Regiment, took the opportunity to hear first-hand about the group’s activities throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
The Welsh Guardsmen were among the first to roll out COVID-19 testing in the UK and combined with the Royal Anglian Regiment and the Grenadier Guards to set up the first mobile testing units back in March 2020.
Three months later the regiment performed a birthday tribute for the Queen at Windsor Castle incorporating innovative drill moves.
As the pandemic worsened over the Christmas period The Prince of Wales’ Company deployed on Christmas Day to deliver mass testing to more than 4,000 stranded lorry drivers in Kent.
This year the Battalion has deployed to the Falkland Islands, Nigeria and Kenya and those remaining in Windsor are currently preparing for an operational tour to Iraq.
His Royal Highness was welcomed to the Windsor Barracks by a Quarter Guard, before being received by the Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Henry Llewelyn-Usher.
Prince Charles presented three medals to members of the battalion and then, in the Officers’ Mess Garden, he met and chatted with soldiers and officers in three socially distanced groups comprising of The Prince of Wales’s Company; Number Two Company; Number Three Company; and Headquarter Company Welsh Guards.
A spokesman for the Welsh Guards said the visit meant ‘a great deal’ to the regiment, many of whom had lined the north and east sides of the Windsor Castle Quadrangle at the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral last month.
The late Prince Philip, a former Colonel of the Regiment, had been head of the Welsh Guards’ regimental family from 1953 to 1975.
Before he bid the soldiers goodbye, Prince Charles paused to reflect at the new Welsh Guards Memorial which was unveiled in December.
The changes could see Colnbrook with Poyle, Langley Kedermister and Foxborough wards moved from Slough to the Windsor parliamentary constituency.