Earlier today in a short ceremony at Windsor Castle and Highgrove House, Gloucestershire the transfer of the Colonel-in-Chief of The Rifles from His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh to Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall took place.
While The Duke of Edinburgh has been Colonel-in-Chief of The Rifles since its formation in 2007, His Royal Highness’ connection stretches back further, as he has served as Colonel-in-Chief of successive Regiments which now make up The Rifles since 1953. The Duchess of Cornwall was appointed Royal Colonel of 4th Battalion The Rifles in 2007 and in this time Her Royal Highness has carried out regular engagements in support of the Battalion. Most recently in May 2019 to present service medals and meet members of the Battalion and their families.
The ceremony began at Windsor Castle where four Buglers, of The Band and Bugles of The Rifles, sounded The Rifles Assembly upon the arrival of The Duke of Edinburgh. The Assistant Colonel Commandant, Major General Tom Copinger-Symes, offered the salute and thanked The Duke of Edinburgh for his 67 years of support and service to The Rifles, and their forming and antecedent Regiments. The Buglers then sounded The Rifles Regimental Call, followed by the ‘No More Parades’ call, to mark The Duke of Edinburgh’s final ceremony as Colonel-in-Chief.
The ceremony continued at Highgrove House, with the arrival of The Duchess of Cornwall being marked by four Buglers sounding The Rifles Assembly. Her Royal Highness was then addressed by The Rifles’ Colonel Commandant, General Sir Patrick Sanders, who welcomed The Duchess as the new Colonel-in-Chief.
To conclude the ceremony, the Buglers sounded The Rifles Regimental Call and The Advance, with Her Royal Highness meeting the Buglers and a small party from 4th Battalion The Rifles, before retiring for an Audience with General Sir Patrick Sanders.
With July 22nd being celebrated each year by The Rifles as their Regimental Day to commemorate the Battle of Salamanca during the Peninsula War, in 1812, where all four forming Regiments of The Rifles fought together and were victorious against the army of Napoleon, it was entirely fitting to hold such a prestigious event on a day which means so much to every Rifleman.