Gurkhas

Prince Charles Awards Operational Honours To Gurkha Personnel

This year marks the 25th anniversary of The Royal Gurkha Rifles.

Prince Charles has presented Operational Service Medals to soldiers of the 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles (1RGR).

The Prince of Wales met troops from 1RGR at their home, Sir John Moore Barracks in Shorncliffe, Kent, presenting medals to them for their work on Operation Toral in Afghanistan.

Also receiving medals were those who worked alongside them in Kabul, including members of the Parachute Regiment.

Lieutenant Colonel Chris Conroy, the Commanding Officer of the 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles, said: "It’s been fantastic having the Colonel-in-Chief, the Prince of Wales, down with us and all the families and elements of the wider team in Kabul with us, including the guys from 3 PARA, the REME the medics and others."

In Kent, Prince Charles also presented three major annual regimental awards: The Prince of Wales’s Kukri, the Tuker Award and the Slim Award.

Prince Charles at Gurkha medal ceremony.
More than 300 medals were presented to soldiers who recently returned from Kabul.

Following the formalities, His Royal Highness met with families and was decorated with a Mala, the traditional Nepalese flower garland around his neck, in the regimental colours of green, black and red.

He then spent more than 40 minutes meeting family members, serving personnel and veterans.

Rifleman Pawnan Bucha couldn't believe his luck when he got the chance to meet the Prince: "We are the junior level soldiers right now and we received the medal from His Royal Highness, it was a great, great, moment for us."

The Prince of Wales was also invited to cut a celebratory ‘silver anniversary’ cake marking 25 years of the regiment, baked by the Gurkhas’ own chefs.

His Royal Highness was presented with a special cushion before he signed the visitors book.

Second Lieutenant Tim Parsons described how important it was to have the Prince of Wales there: "I know it means a huge amount for them and his contribution to the regiment over the past 25 years has been outstanding."

As he left Prince Charles took the chance to catch up with two Gurkha’s who have served as Royal Orderlies. 

Since 1982, 19 Gurkhas have had this role in the Prince’s household.