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Prince & Princess of Wales

Prince William on exercise with Mercian Regiment

The Prince of Wales donned military fatigues for his first visit with The 1st Battalion, The Mercian Regiment, since becoming its Colonel-in-Chief this summer.

During his visit, William met with its soldiers and took part in a training exercise in Salisbury Plain with the Warrior Armoured Fighting Vehicle.

The Mercian Regiment’s mission is to be “ready to decisively engage the enemy in close quarter combat” as the Army’s “fighting element.” The Mercians are trained with sophisticated weaponry and are called upon for operations in peacetime and in conflict.

The Mercian Regiment was formed in 2007 from the five counties that once made up Mercia, a kingdom in ancient England that eventually became part of the kingdom of England just prior to the Norman Conquest.

Kensington Palace/X still/ fair use

During the Warrior exercise, William sat in the gunner’s position and threw three smoke grenades to help confuse the enemy. In an interview with, Sergeant Mark Kirton said that William rode next to him and, “from what I saw, I think he felt very excited when he saw all the smoke and the bangs going off, so hopefully he enjoyed it.”

Sergeant Kirton added: “In his new role as colonel-in-chief of the regiment, he will realise what we do as a unit as we are infantry but also using the vehicles.”

William also received a briefing on the activities of the Mercian Regiment, including plans for the 12th Armoured Brigade Combat Team to head to Poland next year to offer their services in engineering and defence.

Kensington Palace later shared on social media: “A memorable hands-on introduction to the Mercian Regiment as its Colonel-in-Chief. A real education ‘in the field’ and understanding the work of modern infantry in the British Army.”

About author

Jess Ilse is the Assistant Editor at Royal Central. She specialises in the British, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish Royal Families and has been following royalty since Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee. Jess has provided commentary for media outlets in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Jess works in communications and her debut novel THE MAJESTIC SISTERS will publish in Fall 2024.