The Queen visited The Royal Welsh regiment in Tidworth today, handing out leeks to mark St David’s Day earlier this week. She also revealed she thinks that soldiers consider her ‘less frightening’ now she is older, and easier to talk to.
Accompanied by the Regimental Colonel, The Queen inspected the parade in the State Review Range Rover in dreary weather.
Then, Her Majesty, who is the regiment’s Colonel-in-Chief, gave out the mini vegetables – a symbol of the Welsh nation – to cadets, troops and veterans at Lucknow Barracks in Wiltshire. The leeks, wrapped in red thread and dipped in gold, were tucked into the hats of the soldiers.
She wore her regimental brooch for the occasion, which features a dragon emblem.
St David’s Day took place on 1st March, when Prince William, future Prince of Wales, launched an award in his name for SkillForce in Abergavenny.
During the event Queen Elizabeth reviewed members of The Royal Welsh Regimental Family and one of two regimental goats, a new mascot called Llywelyn. The tradition of such a mascot dates back to the 18th century.
The Queen addressed the parade square and said it was a “great pleasure” to celebrate St David’s Day with the regiment.
— British Army (@BritishArmy) March 1, 2017
“I am also delighted to be able to present leeks to representatives of the regiment, from cadets to comrades, and to meet the new mascot, Llywelyn,” she said.
The Royal Welsh was formed on St David’s Day in 2006, following an amalgamation of The Royal Welch Fusiliers and The Royal Regiment of Wales.
Her Majesty’s association with The Royal Welsh and its former Regiments dates back to her Coronation, when she was Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Welch Fusiliers. The Queen became Colonel-in-Chief of The Royal Welsh following the amalgamation in 2006.
Following the Parade, The Queen visited the Officers’ Mess, where she viewed displays demonstrating the capability of the Regiment. Soldiers and their families also got to meet the Colonel-in-Chief before lunch was served.
Speaking to Major General James Swift, Colonel of the regiment Her Majesty revealed that ‘she is very fond of her regiments,’ Swift said.
“The Royal Welch Fusiliers was one of the first three regiments that she was given by her father so she has a special connection with it.
“She commented at lunch how much more engaging soldiers are these days. She thinks it is because she is now a little older that she is now a little less frightening, which gives you a view of her humility.”
We can imagine that it would be very daunting to meet your Colonel-in-Chief, who happens to be the Monarch!