In December, Buckingham Palace announced that Queen Consort Camilla would become the new colonel of the Grenadier Guards, replacing the position’s previous occupant, Prince Andrew. On Tuesday, Camilla visited Lille Barracks in Aldershot, England to greet members of the battalion and honor 12 soldiers for distinguished service.
The troops of the Grenadier Guards are famous for wearing bearskin hats during their ceremonial duties, and though Camilla didn’t don a hat of her own, she said she was looking forward to making more visits in the future. “Thank you very much, it has been a pleasure to be here,” she said, according to the PA. “I look forward to seeing a lot more of you in the future.”
During the visit, Camilla handed out 10 medals to soldiers handpicked for exceptional service in Iraq. She also gave a medal for long service and good conduct to Sergeant Scott Howcroft and a medal bar marking an additional 10 years service to Color Sergeant Colin Fiddy. She later posed for photos with the battalion.
Afterward, one of the soldiers in the battalion told the PA more details about the visit. “She was incredibly charming and it was very humbling,” said Archie Dennison-Smith. “She was very interested and engaged, and willing to talk to everyone. We are really, really honored to have her as our new colonel.”
Prince Philip was the colonel of the guard for more than 40 years, but when he retired from his royal duties in 2017, the title passed to Andrew. In January 2022, the palace announced that Queen Elizabeth II had stripped her son of the title after he settled a sex abuse case with Virginia Roberts Giuffre. As late as June, reports in the British press said that Andrew hoped he could return to his role with the guards.
On Wednesday, Camilla had another military engagement when she greeted members of the Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada to Buckingham Palace. While there, she was given a medal to mark her services as the regimen’s colonel-in-chief for the last 12 years.
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