THE DUCHESS OF CORNWALL, COLONEL-IN-CHIEF, VISITS 1st BATTALION, THE RIFLES, GLOUCESTERSHIRE
Monday 7th September 2020
The Duchess of Cornwall, Colonel-in-Chief, The 1st Battalion, The Rifles, will undertake her first visit to the Battalion, following her new appointment as Colonel-in-Chief.
Her Royal Highness will be greeted with a Royal Fanfare on arrival at the barracks. HRH will then receive a short private briefing by the Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Mark Shercliff.
HRH will then meet with Riflemen who will have recently completed their initial training course at the Infantry Training Centre in Catterick and are currently undertaking further training at The Rifles Training Team, based with 1 RIFLES at Beachley Barracks, before they join their Battalions. HRH will be shown some of the equipment that they have been using during their training. HRH will also present The Rifles Coin (in a socially distanced manner) to the best Rifleman from the overall training course.
HRH will then join a small reception (outside) where she will meet Riflemen and their families. Including Riflemen who have been deployed throughout Wales in support of the Welsh NHS and many communities during the pandemic.
Following the reception, The Commanding Officer will say a few words before HRH departs.
This will be the first visit The Duchess of Cornwall has undertaken to The 1st Battalion, The Rifles since taking up the position as Colonel-in-Chief. Her Royal Highness took over the position from The Duke of Edinburgh on the 22nd July 2020. There was a short ceremony at Windsor Castle and Highgrove House to mark the occasion.
The Duke of Edinburgh was Colonel-in-Chief since its formation in 2007 and was connected to successive Regiments, which now make up The Rifles, since 1953. The Duchess of Cornwall is also Royal Colonel of The 4th Battalion of The Rifles having taken up the position in 2007.
Over the past few months The 1st Battalion, The Rifles (1 RIFLES) has been deployed throughout Wales supporting the fight against Coronavirus. The assistance the battalion has provided to the civil authorities has included: the installation of hospital beds at the Dragon’s Heart Hospital in Cardiff, the deployment of ambulance drivers to support the Welsh Ambulance Service Trust (WAST) and the deployment of COVID testing teams throughout Wales.
1 RIFLES returned from their most recent operational deployment in Afghanistan (Op TORAL) in October 2019 having supported the UK’s contribution to NATO’s mission in Kabul. The battalion contributed to the Kabul Security Force (KSF) providing protection to NATO’s advisers who transited through Kabul’s districts.