From tanks to helicopters and Regular and Reserve units, His Majesty The King has a long association with the British Army.
While King Charles III is Commander-in-Chief of the military, he has more personal affiliations with twenty Army Regiments and Formations covering the full range of the Army’s capabilities. He was awarded the honorary rank of Field Marshal in June 2012 in recognition of his support to the Army.
As a Colonel-in-Chief or Royal Colonel, a member of the Royal Family is appointed by the monarch to serve as a patron for a regiment. They will attend formal events, such as medal parades, as well as visiting on exercises and operations to maintain the bond between the military and royalty.
The King's first Colonelcy-in-Chief was of The Royal Regiment of Wales, to which he was appointed on 1 July 1969, the day of his Investiture as Prince of Wales at Caernarfon Castle.
On 1 March 1975 The King became Colonel of The Welsh Guards, and since then he has worn the regiment’s ceremonial uniform while taking part in the annual Trooping The Colour ceremony.
On being appointed Colonel-in-Chief of The Parachute Regiment on 11 June 1977, The King asked to take part in, and subsequently completed, the Army's parachute training course.
"I felt I should lead from the front, or at least be able to do some of the things that one expects others to do for the country." HRH King Charles III
The King felt he could not wear the Regiment's famous maroon beret and wings badge unless he had done the course. He later said: "I felt I should lead from the front, or at least be able to do some of the things that one expects others to do for the country".
As a qualified helicopter pilot and Colonel-in-Chief of the Army Air Corps, the King presented Flying Wings to his son Prince Harry on his completion of training on 7 May 2010.
The King's current Army appointments:
Colonel-in-Chief, 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards, from 1 July 2003.
Colonel-in-Chief, The Royal Dragoon Guards, from 1 July 1992.
Colonel-in-Chief, The Corps of Royal Engineers, from 28th March 2023.
Colonel, Welsh Guards, from 1 March 1975.
Royal Colonel, The Black Watch, 3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, from 28 March 2006.
Colonel-in-Chief, The Mercian Regiment, from 1 September 2007.
Colonel-in-Chief, The Parachute Regiment, from 11 June 1977.
Colonel-in-Chief, The Royal Gurkha Rifles, from 11 June 1977.
Colonel-in-Chief, Army Air Corps, from 1 March 1992.
Royal Honorary Colonel, The Queen's Own Yeomanry, from 23 May 2000.
Royal Colonel, 51st Highland, 7th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, from 28 March 2006.