Fittingly the first visit to the Battalion by our newly appointed Colonel, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales was to be on St David's Day, 1st March 2023 at Combermere Barracks, Windsor. Accompanied by Her Royal Highness The Princess of Wales.
His Royal Highness took the salute, presented leeks in the traditional manner and took the opportunity to address all members of the Battalion, their families and the assembled members of the Welsh Guards Association. He said;
There is no doubt that the presence of Their Royal Highnesses made a special event even more special as they both took the time to speak with members of the Battalion, their families and the many members of the Welsh Guards Association present - it was a truly memorable day for all involved.
As we celebrated this special day, it's worth taking a moment to reflect on why St David's Day is so important to the people of Wales. St David, or Dewi Sant in Welsh, is the patron Saint of Wales and his day is celebrated annually on March 1st. The tradition of celebrating St David's Day goes back many centuries, and it's an important day for the people of Wales to celebrate their Welsh heritage and culture. From wearing traditional Welsh costumes and cooking traditional dishes like cawl and Welsh cakes, to parades and concerts, there are many ways to mark the occasion.
Following the formalities of the parade, presentation of leeks and the traditional reception, the annual Soko Cup rugby match (in memory of Guardsman Ratu Soko who sadly died on New Years day 2018) took place between the Guardsmen and Lance Corporals, with the Guardsmen comprehensively victorious, beating the Lance Corporals 70 points to Nil.
Neil Rice, the Welsh Guards Association Deputy Secretary General has, once again created an online gallery of his excellent photographs which capture they day and they can view here.
The visit was, of course, covered in the media and a selection of this coverage can be found in the following links:
It is good to report that after a two year break due to Covid restrictions, 8,000 miles away at the Welsh Guards Memorial in Fitzroy, Major Charlie Carty and his group of Welsh Guards Falklands Veterans along with Jan and Tim Miller and many other Falkland Islanders, were back to celebrate St David's Day with our dearly departed bretheren from 1982.