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Queen presents new colours to the Welsh Guards

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http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/DefenceNews/HistoryAndHonour/QueenPresentsNewColoursToTheWelshGuards.htm

Queen presents new colours to the Welsh Guards
5 May 06
Her Majesty The Queen presented new Colours to the First Battalion of the Welsh Guards at Windsor Castle yesterday, Thursday 4 May 2006.



HRH, The Duke of Edinburgh, HRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, along with over 2000 spectators, attended the parade. The new Colours replaced those Colours presented by The Queen 16 years ago at Buckingham Palace.

This is the seventh colour presented to the Battalion since its formation in 1915. The old Colours have accompanied the battalion to Iraq, Bosnia, Northern Ireland, Belize, Kenya, Canada and the USA.

The parade comprised four guards provided by the Prince of Wales’s, and Number 2, 3 and Support Companies. Each guard was made up of 54 officers and men. The Band of the Welsh Guards and the Corps of Drums of the 1st Battalion were also on parade.

The Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel B J Bathurst OBE, who commanded the parade, said:

"For the Welsh Guards to be asked to troop their new Colour on Her Majesty’s 80th birthday parade is a great honour. It also marks our return to London after a six year period of operational commitments in which the first battalion has served with distinction in Iraq, Northern Ireland and Bosnia. We are due to return to Bosnia in October and our new Colour will go with us."

Afterwards, The Queen, attended a private reception in the grounds of Windsor Castle. There she met serving members of the Regiment and their families. The new Queen’s Colour of the 1st Battalion will be Trooped at the Queen’s Birthday Parade on 17th June.



Colours is a British Army term that refers to the regiment’s flag that used to be carried into battle and used as a rally point for troops by helping them recognise the group they were fighting with. This is no longer done but the colour has come to symbolise the regimental spirit and is carried on parades as a memorial to fallen soldiers. Colours are saluted as a mark of respect.

On 19 March, 1915 the King approved The Kings Colour, the Regimental Colour and the eight Company Colours. He also conferred a further distinction on the regiment by sanctioning the title of 'The Prince of Wales' Company, for the leading company of the 1st Battalion.

The details of the uniform were also settled. Both officers and men wore the leek as a cap badge. This national emblem was repeated on the button design. The peacetime forage cap of officers and men was to have a black band; the tunic was to have buttons in groups of five; the collar badge to be the leek, repeated on men’s shoulders. The bearskin cap would be the same as in the other regiments of Foot Guards, but would have a distinctive plume of green and white.

On 3 August 1915, the battalion paraded in the gardens of Buckingham Palace. The Bishop of St. Asaph consecrated the colour and the King presented them to the regiment. A few days later, on 7 August, the London Gazette announced "His Majesty the King has been graciously pleased to confer on the Welsh Guards the honour of becoming Colonel-in-chief of the Regiment".

Photo 1)  Her Majesty The Queen presented new colours to the First Battalion of the Welsh Guards in the Quadrangle at Windsor Castle on Thursday 4th of May.
[Picture: Cpl Richard Cave]

Photo 2)  A soldier wears the new colours with pride.
[Picture: Cpl Richard Cave]
 

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Thank god they're still wearing real bearskins
and not one of the synthetic fur ones (POS)
 
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