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Prince Charles, 72, visits Combermere Barracks in Windsor, Berkshire

The Prince of Wales personally thanked some of the soldiers who took part in the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral today, saying they ‘did his father proud.’

Prince Charles, 72, was undertaking his first official engagement since Prince Philip’s funeral service at St George’s Chapel, Windsor, last month, visiting the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards at Combermere Baracks, also in Windsor, in his role as Colonel of the Regiment.

Twenty men were picked to represent the regiment in the Windsor Castle quadrangle in honour of the duke, who had previously served as Colonel from 1953 until 1975, when his son took over.

Speaking in he grounds of the barracks, Charles told them: ‘I was so enormously proud of those of of you who formed part of the compliment during my father’s funeral recently. 

‘If I may say so, what a wonderful credit not only to the Welsh Guards but also the Households Division and all those who were on parade, for what you all did. 

The Prince of Wales, 72, personally thanked some of the soldiers who took part in the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral today, saying they ‘did his father proud.’ Pictured, received by Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Henry Llewelyn-Usher as he arrives for a visit to Combermere Barracks in Windsor, Berkshire

Prince Charles looked in good spirits as he walks with Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Henry Llewelyn-Usher during the visit

Prince Charles looks in good spirits as he walks with Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Henry Llewelyn-Usher during the visit

He continued: ‘I know my family and I were deeply moved by the way you all performed your duties. People from other countries rang me up to say that they had never seen anything quite so marvellous, so beautifully done and with such dignity and style.

‘Of course it is something with which you are all rightly famed, but I know my father would have been also enormously touched because he had dreamt up this particular way he wanted it done. So you did him proud and you certainly did make your old Colonel very proud indeed.’  

The prince arrived at the barracks in his new electric Tesla car and was greeted by a Quarter Guard before being received by the Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Henry Llewelyn-Usher.

Inside the Officer’s Mess, the prince presented three non-operational awards. 

The prince arrived at the barracks in his new electric Tesla car and was greeted by a Quarter Guard before being received by the Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Henry Llewelyn-Usher (pictured)

The prince arrived at the barracks in his new electric Tesla car and was greeted by a Quarter Guard before being received by the Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Henry Llewelyn-Usher (pictured)

The visit marked the royal's first official engagement since Prince Philip’s funeral service at St George’s Chapel, Windsor, last month. Pictured, speaking with soldiers

The visit marked the royal’s first official engagement since Prince Philip’s funeral service at St George’s Chapel, Windsor, last month. Pictured, speaking with soldiers 

Speaking to the twenty men who were picked to represent the regiment in the Windsor Castle quadrangle in honour of the Duke of Edinburgh, Charles said: ‘I was so enormously proud of those of of you who formed part of the compliment during my father’s funeral recently'

Speaking to the twenty men who were picked to represent the regiment in the Windsor Castle quadrangle in honour of the Duke of Edinburgh, Charles said: ‘I was so enormously proud of those of of you who formed part of the compliment during my father’s funeral recently’

In the garden, Charles made a point of speaking to more than 40 soldiers, standing in socially distanced groups comprised of men and women from The Prince of Wales’ Company Number Two Company, Number Three Company and Headquarter Company.

He chatted to each and every one present about their service and plans for the future, and was heard asking several whether they had ‘taken part in my father’s funeral recently.

He told Guardsman Trystan (c) Phillips, 23, from Swansea, that he still remembered the silence that greeted him as he stepped out behind his father’s coffin.

‘In the quadrangle it was so quiet, you couldn’t hear anything,’ he said. 

The Prince of Wales (pictured, with a soldier) has been Colonel of the Welsh Guards since 1975

The Prince of Wales (pictured, with a soldier) has been Colonel of the Welsh Guards since 1975

Prince Charles could be seen laughing and joking with the soldiers as he engaged in conversation today (pictured)

Prince Charles could be seen laughing and joking with the soldiers as he engaged in conversation today (pictured)

He chatted with others about their fitness and the strain of carrying kit.

‘It’s alright when you are young,’ he said ruefully, ‘it’s when you go past 30!’

The 1st Battalion Welsh Guards are Light Role Infantry, and were amongst the first to help set up mobile COVID 19 test sites last year.

They are currently preparing for an operational tour to Iraq on Operation SHADER, the UK’s contribution to the US-led anti Daesh mission, and will also deploy to Africa as part of the MOD’s ongoing efforts to counter wildlife poaching operations.

Inside the Officer’s Mess, the prince presented three non-operational awards. Pictured, Prince of Wales gestures as he meets members of the Welsh Guards

Inside the Officer’s Mess, the prince presented three non-operational awards. Pictured, Prince of Wales gestures as he meets members of the Welsh Guards

In the garden, Charles made a point of speaking to more than 40 soldiers, standing in socially distanced groups comprised of men and women from The Prince of Wales’ Company Number Two Company, Number Three Company and Headquarter Company (pictured)

In the garden, Charles made a point of speaking to more than 40 soldiers, standing in socially distanced groups comprised of men and women from The Prince of Wales’ Company Number Two Company, Number Three Company and Headquarter Company (pictured)

The Prince of Wales, Colonel Welsh Guards, helps plant a tree next to Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Henry Llewelyn-Usher

The Prince of Wales, Colonel Welsh Guards, helps plant a tree next to Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Henry Llewelyn-Usher

The Prince of Wales, who opted for a smart tweed blazer, cream trousers and red and blue striped tie, helped plant a tree next to Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Henry Llewelyn-Usher

The Prince of Wales, who opted for a smart tweed blazer, cream trousers and red and blue striped tie, helped plant a tree next to Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Henry Llewelyn-Usher

Prince Charles chatted to each and every one present about their service and plans for the future. Pictured, during the visit

Prince Charles chatted to each and every one present about their service and plans for the future. Pictured, during the visit

The royal (pictured) was heard asking several whether the soldiers had ‘taken part in my father’s funeral recently'

The royal (pictured) was heard asking several whether the soldiers had ‘taken part in my father’s funeral recently’

They also carry out ceremonial duties and last year took part in the Queen’s socially-distanced birthday tribute at Windsor Castle.

Charles told them how immensely grateful he was for all the work they did, reminding them: ‘Of course as you know I followed in my father’s footsteps. He was Colonel of the Welsh Guards for 22 years and he then handed over to me back in 1975. 

‘You have had to put up with me for the last 46 years, during which time I have managed to see grandfather, fathers and now grandsons coming through this regiment. 

‘So for me it has been something very special and given me a real sense of the family connections this battalion has. I am enormously proud of what you do. ‘ 

Prince Charles' appearance comes days after it was revealed the royal has shared a touching childhood picture with royal fans to thank them after they sent notes of sympathy to Clarence House following his father, the Duke of Edinburgh's death. Pictured, at Combermere Barracks in Windsor

Prince Charles’ appearance comes days after it was revealed the royal has shared a touching childhood picture with royal fans to thank them after they sent notes of sympathy to Clarence House following his father, the Duke of Edinburgh’s death. Pictured, at Combermere Barracks in Windsor

Prince Charles's (pictured, today) son Prince Harry served two tours in Afghanistan between 2007 and 2008 and qualified as an Apache aircraft commander during his decade in the forces

Prince Charles’s (pictured, today) son Prince Harry served two tours in Afghanistan between 2007 and 2008 and qualified as an Apache aircraft commander during his decade in the forces

Speaking afterwards Guardsman Phillips, who has been in the regiment for 14 months, and took part in the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral service, said: ‘It was such an honour to be chosen. 

‘Everyone volunteered but only 20 in the regiment were chosen. When I told my parents and my grandmother they were welling up. It was like being part of history. You could really feel it on the day. To actually be there made you feel so proud.

‘The prince said to me how proud it would have made his father and how proud it had made him.‘ 

Guardsman Ryan Edwards, 25, from Mochdre, North Wales, who will join Guardsman Phillips in Iraq later this year, added: ‘There was a sense of pride for the whole regiment.’

Sergeant Neil Ford, 32, from Jersey, who has been stood down from the forthcoming tour to Iraq as he and his partner are expecting their first child, said of the Prince’s visit: ‘I have had the privilege of speaking to him a number of times and have always been impressed how much he knows about the regiment and what an interest he takes in it.’

The Prince of Wales smiles as he walks alongside Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Henry Llewelyn-Usher (pictured, together)

The Prince of Wales smiles as he walks alongside Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Henry Llewelyn-Usher (pictured, together)

Prince Charles received a military welcome as he visited the regiment who protects the Queen at Buckingham Palace and at Windsor. Pictured, the royal is received by Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Henry Llewelyn-Usher

Prince Charles received a military welcome as he visited the regiment who protects the Queen at Buckingham Palace and at Windsor. Pictured, the royal is received by Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Henry Llewelyn-Usher

The Prince of Wales' visit (pictured, today) comes just weeks after his father Prince Philip's tragic death, aged 99

The Prince of Wales’ visit (pictured, today) comes just weeks after his father Prince Philip’s tragic death, aged 99


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