To celebrate the 300th anniversary of the Royal Engineers, The Queen yesterday visited Chatham a was saluted in a way in which she is not accustomed – from under water!
Her Majesty was at Brompton Barracks in Chatham, Kent, to mark the important anniversary with the Corps of Royal Engineers, of which she is Colonel-in-Chief.
As she inspected 140 troops from an open-top Range Rover, the car came to pass two soldiers in a water tank: they saluted her, from beneath the water, wearing wetsuits and oxygen tanks. The Sovereign seemed amused by the event, likely something she has not experienced before.
Jools Holland attended in his role as a deputy lieutenant of Kent.
In an address to troops, The Queen praised the men and its predecessors: “I am delighted to be able to share with you this momentous moment in the history of the corp. Since my last visit in 2007 you have been at the forefront of innovation.
“Your ability to provide a flexible and adaptable force, quickly and without fuss, for the purposes of war fighting, peace building or disaster relief is world-class,” the Monarch continued, wearing her regimental brooch for the occasion.
“Whilst the wide range of skills and trades that are on display today give truth to your mottos Everywhere and Where Right and Glory Lead, it is your collective dedication and obvious professionalism that so easily impresses and is the legacy of those who have served before you.”
“I congratulate you on reaching this point in your long and distinguished service and I would wish all sappers, wherever they may be, every success and good fortune in the future.”
Her Majesty posed for a photo with the regiment, and later met some former soldiers of the uni who competed at the Rio Paralmypics at a reception with the troops and their families.
Dave Henson, Micky Yule and Nick Beighton all took part in the elite games, and one even brought along his bronze medal won in sprint kayaking.
She was presented with a sundial from apprentices at the training centre – as well as a cuddly toy each for Prince George and Princess Charlotte. The Queen reportedly enjoyed lunch at the barracks.