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21 Gun Salute welcomes the Queen to Cardiff for official opening of Welsh Parliament

Her Majesty The Queen was welcomed to Wales to officially open the sixth term of the Senedd with a 21-Gun Salute performed by 104 Regiment Royal Artillery

The Reservists, based in Newport, fired the 105mm light guns in front of the Pierhead Building in Cardiff Bay as thousands watched on.

Forty-two Welsh Guardsmen step-lined the Queen’s route into the Senedd after marching in behind The Royal Marines Band Service and Royal Navy personnel.

1st Battalion Welsh Guards are well accustomed to performing ceremonial duties at Royal Palaces, taking part in Trooping the Colour and numerous other State occasions.

"It’s very rare indeed to perform this when the Queen is actually present in such an iconic Welsh location." Captain Helen Jasper, 104 Regiment Royal Artillery

HRH Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall arrived just moments before the Queen, all welcomed by First Minister for Wales, Mark Drakeford.

All 60 members of the Senedd were present in the chamber, the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, after being led in by the Mace bearer, Shaz Khan, from Cardiff, who is part of the Senedd security team.

Captain Helen Jasper, of 104 Regiment Royal Artillery, said her soldiers on parade felt an extra special sense of honour, beyond what they normally take part in.

She said: “Traditionally we fire all the Royal Gun Salutes in Cardiff each year to mark specific occasions, but it’s very rare indeed to perform this when the Queen is actually present in such an iconic Welsh location.

“So it’s a proud day for us as a unit and the 30 personnel helping to ensure it all went smoothly will all acknowledge these occasions do not come around too often.”

Following the Queen’s visit Prince Charles also took part in a reception where he met a family recently relocated from Afghanistan. 160th (Welsh) Brigade has recently been involved in the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy scheme, alongside a number of partner agencies across Wales.