05 May 2021

Charles tells Guardsmen who took part in Philip’s funeral they ‘did him proud’

05 May 2021

The Prince of Wales has personally thanked Welsh Guardsmen who took part in the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral, telling them they “did him proud”.

Charles said the royal family were “deeply moved” by the way the servicemen and others taking part in the service and procession performed their duties.

The heir to the throne also revealed he was contacted by friends from around the world who said the televised event was staged with “dignity and style”.

The Prince of Wales visits Combermere Barracks (PA Wire)

The prince’s words of praise came during his first public event since Philip’s funeral on April 17, as he visited the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards at their barracks in Windsor.

When Philip’s funeral procession set off from Windsor Castle, 20 members of the 1st Battalion lined the north and east sides of the royal residence’s quadrangle.

The group was picked as the duke had a close association with the Welsh Guards, serving as the Regimental Colonel from 1953 until 1975, when Charles succeeded him.

Speaking in he grounds of Combermere Barracks, Charles said: “I was so enormously proud of those of you who formed part of the complement during my father’s funeral recently.

The Prince of Wales visits Combermere Barracks (PA Wire)

“If I may say so, what a wonderful credit not only to the Welsh Guards but also the Household Division and all those who were on parade, for what you all did.

“I know my family and I were deeply moved by the way you all performed your duties. People from other countries rang me up to say that they had never seen anything quite so marvellous, so beautifully done and with such dignity and style.

“Of course it is something with which you are all rightly famed, but I know my father would have been also enormously touched because he had dreamt up this particular way he wanted it done.

“So you did him proud and you certainly did make your old colonel very proud indeed.”

The prince arrived at the barracks in his new Tesla Model S – an electric vehicle he has been using for transport in recent weeks – and was greeted by Lieutenant Colonel Henry Llewelyn-Usher, Commanding Officer of the 1st Battalion, Welsh Guards.

The Prince of Wales visits Combermere Barracks (PA Wire)

After presenting three non-operational awards in the officer’s mess he chatted to groups of Guardsmen in the grounds of the barracks.

Guardsman Trystan Phillips, 23, from Swansea, took part in the funeral and the prince said he still remembered the silence that greeted him as he stepped out behind his father’s coffin.

Charles and the Princess Royal led senior members of the royal family as they walked behind Philip’s coffin, carried on a Land Rover hearse the duke had helped design, as it travelled from the castle to St George’s Chapel.

“In the quadrangle it was so quiet, you couldn’t hear anything,” the prince said.

He also chatted with others about their fitness and joked about the strain of carrying kit: “It’s alright when you are young – it’s when you go past 30.”

Speaking afterwards Guardsman Phillips, who has been in the regiment for 14 months said: “It was such an honour to be chosen. Everyone volunteered but only 20 in the regiment were chosen.

“When I told my parents and my grandmother they were welling up. It was like being part of history. You could really feel it on the day. To actually be there made you feel so proud.”

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