Prince's St David's Day visit for Bosnia troops.Byline: By Gavin O'Connor South Wales Echo The South Wales Echo is a daily newspaper distributed in south Wales. It was founded in 1884 and is based in Thomson House, Cardiff city centre. It is published daily, in a tabloid form, by Media Wales Ltd (formerly Western Mail & Echo Ltd), part of the Trinity Mirror group.
Welsh Guards were honoured during a royal visit in Bosnia to mark St David's Day. It was the first time the Prince of Wales Prince of Wales
switches places with his double, poor boy Tom Canty. [Am. Lit.: The Prince and the Pauper]
See : Doubles , HRH Prince Charles, had visited the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards overseas and he was accompanied by Camilla Parker-Bowles, the Duchess of Cornwall The Duchess of Cornwall is the title held by the wife of the Duke of Cornwall. Duke of Cornwall is a non-hereditary peerage held by the British Sovereign's eldest son and heir. .
The visit marked a historic week which coincided with news that the Welsh Guards, the last British force on a peacekeeping mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina (bŏz`nēə, hĕrtsəgōvē`nə), Serbo-Croatian Bosna i Hercegovina, country (2005 est. pop. 4,025,000), 19,741 sq mi (51,129 sq km), on the Balkan peninsula, S Europe. , would be withdrawing next month.
Prince Charles, Colonel of the Welsh Guards, handed out leeks to the soldiers as national symbols to mark the special day and met with the three Bosnian presidents.
Valleys soldier Steve Cook was also one of five guardsmen to be awarded a Long Service Good Conduct Medal.
Colour Sergeant Cook, 36, who has been with the guards for 18 years, chatted with the Prince about his achievements and service in the Army.
'He talked to us for about five minutes,' said Sergeant Cook, a dad of two, of Abernant, Aberdare.
'He must get really well briefed because he's so knowledgeable. I've met Prince Charles before because I was previously at Eton as a drill instructor when Prince William was there as a cadet for six weeks. At last year's presentation of the new colours I also met him, and he spoke to my wife Susie.'
The medal is one of seven Steve has picked up since joining the forces as an 18-year-old.
'It will be good to go home now,' he said.
'Bosnia's been brilliant for training, but other than that it's been fairly quiet.'
It was also an extraordinary day for Lance Sergeant John Jones, 35, of Hendredenny, Caerphilly Caerphilly (kīrfĭl`ē, kär–), Welsh Caerffili, town (1981 pop. 42,376) and county borough, 108 sq mi (279 sq km), S Wales. .
Nearly 10 years ago he was one of the pallbearers of the coffin of Princess Diana.
Yesterday, the dad of three, most recently father to newborn twins Lewis and Casey, was presented with a leek by the Duchess of Cornwall.
'Camilla just came along and handed me the leek,' said Sergeant Jones.
At a press conference, British Ambassador Matthew Rycroft said the visit marked a day of national celebration for Welsh troops and that constructive talks had been held with the Bosnian presidents.
'The Welsh Guards have a long and distinguished record of service around the world,' he said.
Mr Rycroft said the British commitment to Bosnia would continue, although the nature of the commitment would change.
Commanding Officer for the British Forces, Brigadier Chris Murray, said the hundreds of Welsh Guards would be withdrawn by the end of March.
'Bosnia is now safer than many parts of the UK,' said Brigadier Murray.