The Duchess of Cornwall to Attend The Rifles Sounding Retreat

The Duchess of Cornwall speaking with Riflemen, who are currently undertaking further training, at Beachley Barracks, Chepstow, during her first visit to the 1st Battalion, The Rifles, since becoming their Colonel-in-Chief in July, 2020


Thursday 9th June 2022

The Duchess of Cornwall, Colonel-in-Chief of The Rifles, and The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, Colonels-in-Chief of 6th and 7th Battalions The Rifles respectively, will attend The Rifles Sounding Retreat, a spectacular evening of unique military music and pageantry.

To Bugle Fanfare, Her Royal Highness will be received by General Sir Patrick Sanders, Colonel Commandant. 

Moving to the Major General’s office, The Duchess of Cornwall will join a private reception with RIFLES Generals and Commanding Officers, along with members of the Rifles and their families. Moving outside, Her Royal Highness will meet with bereaved families of Riflemen who lost their lives in Iraq (Op TELIC) and Afghanistan (Op HERRICK). 

Her Royal Highness will then proceed to the Royal Marquee with The Duke and The Duchess of Gloucester. Approaching The Duchess of Cornwall, the Rifleman’s Adjutant will seek permission from Her Royal Highness for the Sounding Retreat to start. 

Once permission has been granted, the Sounding Retreat will commence, featuring military music and pageantry that will include the English National Opera and Napoleonic re-enactors, the 95th RIFLES. 

This sunset parade will take place in front St James’s Park, concluding with a firework display. 

In July 2020, The Duchess of Cornwall took over the role of Colonel-in-Chief of The Rifles from her father-in-law, The Duke of Edinburgh during two ceremonies at Highgrove and Windsor Castle. To mark this, a new official portrait of Her Royal Highness was released. The Duchess could be seen wearing a brooch commissioned by The Rifles in the portrait. Her Royal Highness was presented with the brooch by General Sir Patrick Sanders, Colonel Commandant of The Rifles during an audience hosted by The Duchess on 12th October 2020. 

The Rifles formed in 2007 when four of the most famous Infantry Regiments in the British Army merged into a modern and exciting large regiment optimised for 21st Century warfare. Formed in the crucible of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, The Rifles holds an incredible 913 battle honours, world record 117 Victoria Crosses (VC) and has a living history that is second to none. 

The Rifles are the British Army’s largest infantry regiment. Rifle Regiments were first created from the red coated Line Regiments that used the drum to communicate orders over short distances. The concept of the Rifleman, dressed in green uniform, armed with rifles rather than muskets, fighting on the battlefield on their own initiative, emerged from the forests of North America and Napoleonic Wars in the early 1800s. A drummer was unable to communicate instructions across the wider distances and noise of battle. Instead, the bugle, with its clarion call, was selected for use by Riflemen. For that reason, The Rifles uniquely Sound Retreat, to its sentries as day moves to dusk, rather than Beat Retreat like the rest of the British Army. 

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