Dressed in his Army fatigues, Prince Charles, who is known as the Duke of Rothesay when in Scotland, visited the 51st Highland, 7th Battalion the Royal Regiment of Scotland this past weekend at the Barry Buddon Training Centre in Carnoustie, Scotland. The 51st Highland Division was pivotal in the Battle of the Somme and fought in each of the Western front battles in the Second World War. The Duke of Rothesay is Royal Colonel of the regiment.
“When a Royal Colonel visits a unit it’s always very much appreciated that they wear their uniform, especially when the regiment is practising their skills out in the field,” an Army spokesman told the Daily Mail. “It’s always good for Royal Colonels to see the soldiers in training.”
This was just a brief visit for His Royal Highness as he headed to Cardiff for the service to honour police officers who died whilst in the line of duty, on National Police Memorial Day. This was the 10th service held honouring the officers. Following the service was a reception held for the families of the officers and members of the police force at St. David’s Hall in Cardiff.
In 2006, The Prince became Patron of the National Police Memorial Day. The 2011 service in Glasgow, Scotland was the last time His Royal Highness was in attendance for the memorial service. The service is held on the Sunday that is closest to the 29th September, St. Michael’s Day – St. Michael is the patron saint of police officers. The memorial service is held each year in one of the four countries of the UK.
Upon Prince Charles’ arrival, a mounted police honour guard greeted the attendees who also included South Wales Police Chief Constable Peter Vaughn, Lord Lieutenant Peter Neck, Home Secretary Theresa May and representatives from all four Home Offices of the UK.
“Our courageous policemen and women routinely endure hazardous environments in order to defend us and protect all our freedoms,” His Royal Highness is quoted as saying in the Daily Mail. The Prince continued: “But there is nothing routine about the courage they display. Indeed, to all those who keep us safe, and to their families, we owe a debt of gratitude that we can never repay. They will never be forgotten and their proud legacy inspires us and will always live on.”
Sgt. Joe Holness is founder of the National Police Memorial Day. “I think the fact that the nation is stopping and remembering the commitment of the fallen officers means a great deal to their families, friends and colleagues,” Sgt. Holness stated in the Daily Mail. He continued in regards to the royal visit by stating: “It doesn’t bring back the officers they have lost but it gives some small comfort and recognition of what that family has given.” According to Sgt. Holness, an estimated 4,000 police officers have died in the line of duty since record keeping started in 1792.
The first Memorial Day took place at St Paul’s Cathedral on Sunday 3 October 2004.