The Duchess of Cambridge has marked Armed Forces Day this week, by paying tribute to the ‘brave men and women’ serving in the UK and overseas.
Newly-released photographs, taken last November, show Catherine visiting Pirbright Training Academy in Surrey and, where she saw how the 101st Operational Sustainment Brigade provides equipment and logistics support at Abingdon Airfield in Oxfordshire.
The Duchess participated in some of the training exercises and spent time speaking to personnel about their experiences in the British Army.
Other snaps, marking Armed Forces Day yesterday, show her closely examining a piece of machinery, whilst dressed in green camouflage and ear defenders.
Accompanying the photographs was a message of thanks: ‘Today on Armed Forces Day, William and I would like to pay tribute to the brave men and women, past & present, serving in all of our armed forces, at sea, on land & in the air, here in the UK and around the world.’
‘Thank you for all you and your families sacrifice to keep us safe.’
She continued: ‘Last year, I was honoured to spend time with the British Army to see how they train serving personnel and new recruits. It was wonderful to see first-hand the many important and varied roles the military play day in, day out to protect us all and I look forward to discovering more about the Royal Navy & the Royal Air Force in due course.’
Of course, the Duchess has been a military spouse, and so understands the role that the Armed Forces play and the commitment involved. Prince William attended Sandhurst after completing his degree, joining the RAF and obtaining his wings.
The Duke of Cambridge worked as an RAF Search and Rescue pilot at RAF Valley for three years, including during the first few years of the couple’s marriage, when they were based in Anglesey.
He was also deployed to the Falklands back in 2012, as part of a four-man crew in the British overseas territory, providing cover for the civilian and military population for six weeks. William operated under ‘Flight Lieutenant Wales’ as a Sea King co-pilot, and will one day be Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces.
The Duchess of Cambridge has had an increasing presence with military organisations in recent years, including becoming Honorary Air Commandant for the Air Cadets, taking over from the late Duke of Edinburgh in 2018, and Lady Sponsor of the Navy’s HMS Glasgow.