The Countess of Wessex as Royal Colonel will pay a visit to the Fifth Battalion, The Rifles while they are on a training exercise at Salisbury Plain on the 8th May.
5 Rifles are currently based in Paderborn, Germany and as an armoured infantry regiment they provide the Regiment with the most potent weapon in its armoury, the Warrior Armoured Fighting Vehicle. Serving members of the battalion are paid local overseas allowance, owing to the fact they are based in another country, have access to a number of tax-free goods and have one trip back to the UK paid for them each year.
After becoming Royal Colonel of the Battalion in 2007, Her Royal Highness has visited The Rifles many times, mainly at their base in Germany but also while on operational duties, most notably in Afghanistan in December 2011.
Being Royal Colonel of the Rifles is not the only military appointment the Countess of Wessex holds, she is also Colonel-in-Chief of the Corps of Army Music; Honorary Air Commodore at RAF Wittering and Ship’s Sponsor of HMS Daring, among others.
Although the Countess is Royal Colonel of the Fifth Battalion, it is her father in Law, the Duke of Edinburgh is Colonel-in-Chief of the Rifles regiment.
Members of the Royal Family are frequently made colonels and colonels-in-chief of regiments of the Armed Forces to strengthen bonds between the Royal Family and the Armed Forces.
The visit to Salisbury Plain will come just a few days before The Earl and Countess of Wessex will pay a visit to Bristol.