Falklands 1982

Princess Anne pays tribute to Falklands veterans in Westminster

The Princess Royal has paid tribute to Falklands veterans and all British personnel who lost their lives during the conflict 40 years ago.

Princess Anne attended a special beating retreat ceremony, performed by the Band of the Royal Marines, as the guest of honour at Parliament.

The Princess Royal told a gathering of veterans and other guests at the event: "To the veterans, I would say that your courage and skill in battle was thoroughly tested and found to be exemplary and this nation owes you all a huge debt of gratitude."

Two light guns that fired in anger during the conflict in support of the British Armed Forces were placed either side of the front door to the Speaker's house at Parliament.

Veteran Major General (Retired) Julian Thompson, a Royal Marines officer who commanded 3 Brigade during the Falklands conflict, told the congregation: "I like to think that our Parliament did the Argentines a favour because eventually, of course, democracy was restored to them by the courageous decision of our Government to send a task force south.

"And we veterans are very proud to have played our part."

Both Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Speaker of the House of Commons Lindsay Hoyle also took part in commemorations.

Fresh from surviving his confidence vote the night before, the Prime Minister joked about now having the time to visit the Falklands as he addressed veterans, saying: "It is a real honour for me to be here tonight amongst this illustrious and gallant company and I'm ashamed to say, I think I'm the only one of the four speakers never to have been to the Falklands – so far.

"Now things are a bit quieter in Westminster, perhaps I may be able to go before too long, where things seem relatively peaceful."