Prince Philip travelled to Athlone Barracks in Sennelager, Germany on Wednesday 19th November to present campaign medals to soldiers from the Queen’s Royal Hussars. The Duke of Edinburgh was there to present some 100 service personnel with their Op Herrick 20 honours following their recent return from Helmand Province.
The Duke, who is Colonel-in-Chief of the Queen’s Royal Hussars, addressed more than 300 members of the regiments as well as meeting with their families. The Queen’s Royal Hussars are based in Germany and are the senior Light Cavalry Regiment of the British Army. C Squadron, known as the Warthog Group, were deployed to Afghanistan in June and they were one of the last British combat sub-units in Helmand Province, owing to British military action in Afghanistan coming to an end in October 2014.
The Queens Royal Hussars were formed on the 1st September 1993 after the amalgamation of The Queens Own Hussars and the Queens Royal Irish Hussars and since its formation, the regiment has been particularly active. The regiment has seen military action in Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and more recently Afghanistan. The regiment is currently based in Germany though the future force make up of the British Army, through Army 2020, brings some good news for the Hussars as they will be returning to being based in the UK as the changes are implemented. The Queens Royal Hussars will eventually become a part of the new ‘Reactive Force’ and they are likely to be deployed to any major theatre of conflict requiring heavy armour.
In 1895 Sir Winston Churchill joined the 4th Hussars and eventually became Colonel of that Regiment, becoming known as the ‘greatest Hussar of them all’. Prince Philip’s connections with the Regiment dates back to 1953 when he became Colonel-in-Chief of the 8th Kings Royal Irish Hussars. On the formation of the Queens Royal Hussars, Prince Philip was appointed Deputy Colonel-in-Chief until he assumed full duties upon the death of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother.
All British troops left Camp Bastion in October 2014 when control was handed over to Afghan officials. This hand over officially took place in a poignant ceremony where the Union flag and Stars and Stripes were lowered for the final time.