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Prince Charles takes salute at Colonel’s Review ahead of Queen’s Birthday Parade

The Prince of Wales took the salute at the Colonel’s Review for Trooping the Colour on Saturday, the final full-scale rehearsal before the Queen’s Birthday Parade, which will take place this upcoming Saturday. The parade will be broadcast live on BBC One and is held annually to celebrate Her Majesty’s official birthday.

Pictured: HRH The Prince of Wales takes a salute outside of Buckingham Palace, London. It was a double Welsh celebration on Horse Guards Parade today as one thousand one hundred soldiers, more than 350 musicians and almost 250 military horses performed the Colonel?s Review under the expert eye of HRH The Prince of Wales.   The Prince of Wales is celebrating 40 years as the Regimental Colonel of the Welsh Guards.  The Welsh Guards celebrate their centenary this year, and have been given the honour of ?Trooping? their new Colour (Regimental Flag) at the Queen?s Birthday Parade next week.  Today?s parade in front of their Royal Colonel is the final opportunity to ensure the troops are ready.   As Colonel, The Prince takes a great interest in the Welsh Guards, participating in numerous ceremonial events, regularly visiting the Battalion, and supporting the regimental family by discussing and highlighting military issues, such as welfare and veteran support.  Every serving soldier today would be aware that his is the most experienced eye on parade, and they were all determined to be judged of a high standard.   The exquisitely hand embroidered Colour that is "Trooped" was presented to the battalion at Windsor Castle by HM The Queen on 30th April this year. It is the eighth set of Colours that have been presented to the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards in their 100 year history.  Colours were originally used as rallying points on the battlefield as long ago as the Kings of Babylon.  They were vital because before modern communications, it was all too easy for troops to become disorientated by the fog of war.  The Queen's Colour of the Welsh Guards carries a red dragon above the motto "Cymru Am Byth" in the centre, and 21 out of their 47 Battle Honours, the last being Falkland Islands 1982.  Since then Welsh Guardsmen have served operationally in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan in 2009 and 2012.   The Field Officer in Brigade Waiting, Lieutena

Prince Charles took the salute as Colonel of the Welsh Guards, who are this year trooping their colour in front of Her Majesty, an honour which was given to them especially this year as the regiment marks its centenary.

The Colonel’s Review is one of two full-scale rehearsals, the other being the Major General’s Review, which took place the Saturday before, and was reviewed by the Major General commanding the Household Division, Edward Smyth-Osbourne.

HRH The Prince of Wales Takes the Salute at the Colonel's Review

Members of the Royal Family will join Her Majesty on Horse Guards Parade this Saturday as over 1,000 Household Division troops perform the centuries-old ceremony. With music provided by the Massed Bands of the Household Division, along with the Mounted Band of the Household Cavalry, the ceremony will take place at around 11 o’clock, followed by a balcony appearance from the Royal Family and a fly past from the Royal Air Force around 1pm.

The Prince of Wales, Duke of Cambridge and Princess Royal will ride on the parade on horseback as royal colonels, while the Duke of Edinburgh, Duke of Kent and other members of the Royal Family will process to Horse Guards in carriages. Until a few years ago, the Duke of Kent rode on parade, though was forced to give it up after suffering a stroke.

HRH The Prince of Wales Takes the Salute at the Colonel's Review

The parade is the formal marking of Her Majesty’s birthday, arranged to fall on a Saturday in June so as to allow for the best chance of good weather, a practice begun by Edward VII whose own birthday was in November.

As well as the parade, the day will also be marked with the releasing of The Queen’s birthday honours, in which over 1,000 deserving individuals are honoured for various kinds of public service. These will include both personal honours from The Queen (such as in the Royal Victorian Order) and public ones (usually the Order of the British Empire).

HRH The Prince of Wales Takes the Salute at the Colonel's Review

This year, Prince Harry’s own uniform will bear a new addition in the form of the Royal Victorian Order’s star and insignia (Knight Commander), which he was awarded by Her Majesty for his ‘personal service’ on Thursday. He leaves the Army at the end of the month, though is reported to be currently preparing to take up the colonelcy of the Life Guards in succession to Lord Guthrie next year, which will see the Prince riding on parade for the first time then.

Following the parade will also be gun salutes, conducted across the country, to mark The Queen’s official birthday. They’ll be done by the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery from Green Park (instead of the usual Hyde Park) as well as from the other usual saluting basis including the Tower of London (by the Honourable Artillery Company).

HRH The Prince of Wales Takes the Salute at the Colonel's Review

As well as being a significant year for the Welsh Guards, marking 100 years since their founding, so to is it for the Prince of Wales who celebrates 40 years of being Colonel of the Welsh Guards, having taken over from his father the Duke of Edinburgh in 1975.

photo credits: Crown Copyright 2015, Cpl Jamie Peters RLC

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