Royals

Camilla Visits Rifles For First Time As Regiment's Colonel-In-Chief

The Duchess of Cornwall succeeded the Duke of Edinburgh in the role earlier this year.

The Duchess of Cornwall has visited The Rifles for the first time following her appointment as Colonel-in-Chief of the British Army regiment.

Camilla met personnel and their families at 1 Rifles' Beachley Barracks in Gloucestershire, near Chepstow, and was played a bugle call composed specially for the visit.

Eight buglers played the specially composed fanfare, called 'The Duchess', to commemorate her new role.

Corporal Edward MacIntyre, 30, who wrote the piece, said he decided to compose it when he heard that Camilla was taking over from Philip.

Camilla, whose late father, Major Bruce Shand, served with the 12th Lancers during the Second World War, said she was honoured by the tribute.

Her Royal Highness was also shown equipment used by troops during training.

Camilla said: "It’s my first time here and I am very much looking forward to it."

Among the soldiers who met Camilla were personnel who had recently completed training at Catterick and are now undertaking further training with The Rifles Training Team, plus those who had been deployed in Wales in support of the Welsh NHS throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

As well as installing hospital beds at the Dragon’s Heart Hospital in Cardiff, the battalion aided in the deployment of ambulance drivers to support the Welsh Ambulance Service Trust and provided COVID testing teams throughout the country.

Camilla Duchess of Cornwall observes Rifles personnel at Beachley Barracks 070920 CREDIT BFBS

The Duchess succeeded Prince Philip as Rifles Colonel-in-Chief in July, with short ceremonies taking place at both Windsor Castle and Highgrove House.

Camilla is also Royal Colonel of The 4th Battalion of The Rifles having taken up the position in 2007.

Prince Philip had been the Colonel in Chief of The Rifles since its formation in 2007 and was connected to successive regiments, which now form the battalion, since 1953.

Who are the Rifles?

The Rifles formed in February 2007 following the merger of four infantry regiments.

It is one of the British Army's largest infantry regiments, comprised of five regular battalions and three reserve battalions.

Prince Philip had been the honorary head of the regiment since its formation and served as Colonel-in-Chief of antecedent and forming regiments which now make up the Rifles since 1953, when he was appointed Colonel-in-Chief of The Wiltshire Regiment (Duke of Edinburgh's).