10 June 2024

King pays tribute to Irish Guards ahead of Trooping the Colour

10 June 2024

The King has paid tribute to the “professionalism, courage and humour” of the Irish Guards ahead of the regiment’s central role in Trooping the Colour on Saturday.

Charles’s words of praise came as he presented new colours to Number 9 and 12 Companies, Irish Guards, during a Windsor Castle ceremony, where he highlighted the regiment’s efforts during the Covid pandemic and “vital work to counter terrorism in Iraq and to bolster security across Africa”.

In a deeply symbolic ceremony the King touched the new flags – the King’s Colour and the Regimental Colour – signalling their special status as the “soul of the regiment” after they were consecrated by the Army’s Chaplain General Reverend Michael Parker.

The King’s Colour will be trooped by Number 9 Company, Irish Guards, during the Trooping the Colour ceremony on Saturday, the official birthday celebrations of the monarch.

During the ceremony in Windsor Castle’s quadrangle, the King said: “In recent years, the regiment has continued to serve with immense distinction.

“Around the world, your achievements include vital work to counter terrorism in Iraq and to bolster security across Africa by providing high-quality training teams to work with local forces.

“At home, you played an indispensable role in assisting the civil authorities during the Covid pandemic and, only last year, training Ukrainian forces to enable them to defend their homeland.

“I was privileged to see the impressive results of this latter work for myself, during a visit to Knook Camp, on Salisbury Plain.

“In this ever-changing world, it is no exaggeration to say that the whole regiment finds itself occupying a central role in defence’s contribution to the myriad challenges which societies must face.

“In all of this, you bring to your duty a blend of professionalism, courage and humour which has always marked out Irish Guardsmen.”

The Princess of Wales is Colonel of the Irish Guards, but missed a Trooping rehearsal on Saturday, known as the Colonel’s Review, as she is still receiving cancer treatment.

In a letter to her guardsmen, Kate said she was “proud” of the Irish Guards and apologised for not being able to take part in the event at the weekend.

She said: “I appreciate everyone Trooping the Colour this year has been practising for months and dedicating many hours to ensuring their uniforms and drill are immaculate.

“Being your Colonel remains an honour and I am very sorry that I’m unable to take the salute at this year’s Colonel’s Review.”

But it remains unclear whether the princess, who is undergoing chemotherapy, will attend Trooping the Colour, a major fixture in the royal calendar.

After the presentation of the new colours, Charles, who is the regiment’s Colonel-in-Chief, met some of the “regimental family” – past guardsmen and relatives of officers and soldiers on parade who were invited to watch the ceremony.

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