The biennial reunion of the members of The Victoria Cross and George Cross Association will occur in London from the 27tOctober until the 29th October. A series of customary events will be hosted by members of the Royal Family over those three days, including a reception at Buckingham Palace given by Her Majesty The Queen, who is also the Patron of the Association since 1957, as well as afternoon tea hosted by the Prince of Wales.
The Prince of Wales has been President of The Victoria Cross and George Cross Association since 2003 and his duties will be represented by Prince Harry, as his Royal Highness will be overseas.
23 out of the 30 members of the Association, alongside widows of past members, parents and families of the fallen, are expected to be in attendance for the reunion to welcome new members into the Association.
Instituted by Queen Victoria on 29th January 1856, The Victoria Cross is awarded “for most conspicuous bravery or some daring pre-eminent act of valour or self-sacrifice or extreme devotion to duty in the presence of the enemy”. The award is bestowed irrespective of rank to those serving in British and Commonwealth Forces who have shown most conspicuous bravery. The award includes actions by soldiers beginning from the Crimean War in 1854 until the current day.
The George Cross was instituted by His Majesty King George VI on 24th September 1940. The George Cross, which may be awarded posthumously, is granted in recognition of “acts of the greatest heroism or of the most conspicuous courage in circumstances of extreme danger”. The medal is primarily a civilian award; however the George Cross may be awarded to military personnel for gallant conduct not in the face of the enemy.
The schedule for the three days are as follows:
27 October 2014
Prince Harry, representing The Prince of Wales, President, The Victoria Cross and George Cross Association, will host an afternoon tea reception for members at St James’s Palace State Apartments.
28 October 2014
Her Majesty The Queen, accompanied by The Duke of Edinburgh will give a reception for members of The Victoria Cross and George Cross Association at Buckingham Palace.
29 October 2014
Prince Harry, will attend the Service of Remembrance and Re-dedication for members of The Victoria Cross and George Cross Association at St Martin-in-the-Fields.
Following the Service, Prince Harry will host the President’s Party in the State Apartments at St James’s Palace.