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Parachute Regiment host Royal guest

23 June 2017

His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales has visited The Parachute Regiment to celebrate 40 years as its Colonel-in-Chief.

The Prince visited Merville Barracks, Colchester today (Fri 23 June) to join with veterans, soldiers and their families to celebrate and reflect on his tenure as Colonel-in-Chief. Since he took on the role in June 1977, the Regiment has deployed on operations in Northern Ireland, the Falklands, Iraq, Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Macedonia and Afghanistan.

The day started with the Regiment’s four battalions and its mascot Pegasus, a Shetland pony, on parade to be inspected by The Prince, with music from The Band of The Parachute Regiment. The Red Devils, the Regiment’s freefall parachute display team, then jumped in to present The Prince with a commemorative flag.

After a private lunch with soldiers, veterans and the families of paratroopers killed on operations, The Prince visited stands showing the Regiment’s vehicles, equipment and weaponry. Paratroopers are trained and equipped to be ready to deploy at short notice by parachute, helicopter and airlanding. The 1st Battalion serves in the Special Forces Support Group; 2nd and 3rd Battalions are part of 16 Air Assault Brigade, the British Army’s airborne rapid reaction force; and 4th Battalion is the Regiment’s reserve unit. 

Lieutenant General John Lorimer KCB DSO MBE, Colonel Commandant of The Parachute Regiment, said: “It is a huge honour for The Parachute Regiment to have His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales as Colonel-in-Chief. Over the 40 years since he took on the role, The Prince has played a central role in all aspects of the Regiment’s life. This event has been a wonderful occasion to gather together as a regimental family – veterans, serving soldiers and families – to celebrate this significant milestone for the Colonel-in Chief and show him the capabilities of The Parachute Regiment.”

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