Army

Prince Charles Meets Mercian Regiment And Their Mascot

His Royal Highness met Private Derby, the Swaledale Ram who acts as the regiment’s mascot.

His Royal Highness Prince Charles has celebrated ten years as Colonel-in-Chief of the Mercian Regiment with a visit to their barracks in Bulford.

The Prince of Wales presented operational medals to troops who have recently returned from deployments to South Sudan and Iraq.

He also award Long Service and Good Conduct Medals.

Forty years ago, the Prince of Wales became the Colonel-in-Chief of the Cheshire Regiment, which became part of the Mercian Regiment in 2007.

Prince Charles was greeted at Picton Barracks with an honour guard, including the regiment's latest mascot, a Swaledam ram called Private Derby XXXII.

The ram forms part of a Merican Regiment tradition dating back to 1858, and last month led out Derby County Football Club prior to a match.

Prince Charles meets the Mercian Regiment
Image: @ClarenceHouse/Twitter.

In a convention dating back to 1743, soldiers from the regiment wore oak leaves in their berets, in reference to the Battle of Dettingen when the regiment protected King George II using an Oak tree.

In homage to that battle, the regiment now wears oak leaves whenever they are in the presence of a member of the royal family.

Prince of Wales then travelled to Salisbury Plain where he was given a demonstration of some of the Mercian's vehicles and equipment, including a ride in a Warrior armoured vehicle.

Prince Charles meets the Mercian Regiment
Image: @ClarenceHouse/Twitter.