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Proud day for Welsh troops as Queen set to visit Cardiff.

Byline: Ruth Mosalski Local government reporter

THE Queen will visit Cardiff this summer for a prestigious event where 600 members of The Royal Welsh will parade through the city.

On June 11, the regiment will march from Cardiff Castle to the Millennium Stadium where the Queen will present them with their new colours.

The regiment say the presentation of their colours will be one of the most important events it will stage for decades to come.

It is an important milestone for the regiment who were formed a year ago when the 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh (formally Royal Welch Fusiliers) and 2nd Battalion The Royal Welsh (formally Royal Regiment of Wales) were merged to become 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh. Soldiers, officers, cadets and comrades from the regiment will gather in Cardiff Castle before parading through the city centre to the Millennium Stadium.

They will then be inspected by the Queen before being presented with their new regimental flags.

The regiment say the presentation will allow them to unite under their new colours and take the unit forward into the 21st century.

They hope the parade will show the Welsh people their gratitude for the support they have received during recent conflicts and throughout their long and decorated history.

Tickets will be available for members of the public to join the regiment and the Queen at the stadium.

Regimental Adjutant of The Royal Welsh, Captain Ben Phillips, urged people to go along and support the event.

Capt Phillips said: "This event will formally reaf-firm our collective identity and our standing as one of the finest Welsh units in the British Army.

"We all place immense pride in our Welsh identity across all ranks in the Regiment.

"Representing the UK and Wales on the field of battle across the world is what we do, carrying our regimental colours with us."

He added: "In June, we will have the opportunity to represent our nation on the sacred Welsh territory, the Millennium Stadium pitch.

"The Millennium Stadium, the modern coliseum at the heart of Wales is a fantastic venue for such a historic occasion.

"Marching from the more traditional site of Cardiff Castle, through the streets of Cardiff into the stadium really does represent the transition of the regiment through its rich history and into its new, modern position at the forefront of Britain's military forces.

"As military parades go, this will almost certainly be one of the best examples of Welsh pride and support for military forces in Wales.

"As a regiment we would encourage as many members of the Welsh public to attend, it should be quite a show," he said.

Regimental Secretary of The Royal Welsh, Lieutenant Colonel Chris Kilmister said: "The parade is a very significant day for all members of The Royal Welsh as we celebrate our Welsh identity based on 326 years of antecedent heritage. The day includes entertainment from traditional Welsh choirs, a full military parade and a formal lunch for members of the regimental family and their guests.

"This is a high-profile event drawing attendance from across the world and what better place to hold this than in the Millennium Stadium in the capital of Wales."

Curator of The Regimental Museum of The Royal Welsh in Brecon, Richard Davies, said the presenting of the colours is a "very important" event.

"It's a lot to do with the heritage and tradition of the army. The presentation of the colours events relate directly to the specific regiment's sense of itself, its history and its own past.

"The regiment that we represent ultimately dates back to the late 17th century so to a certain extent it's about continuing that history."

Also on show on the day will be the regiment's armoured fighting vehicles and soldiers will reenact battles dating back to the colonial wars wearing replica uniforms. The stadium's big screens will show images from the regiment's illustrious history and the regimental band and mascot will both be present.

The gates will open at the Millennium Stadium at 9am.

Regimental flags are treated with reverence as they represent the honour and traditions of the regiment Colours may be inscribed with the names of battles or other symbols representing former achievements.

In regiments of infantry of the British Army and the armies of other Commonwealth countries, each battalion carries two colours, which collectively are called a stand.

These are large flags, mounted on a pike. The Queen's Colour is usually a version of the country's national flag, often trimmed with gold fabric, and with the regiment's insignia placed in the centre. The Regimental Colour is a flag of a single colour, usually the colour of the uniform facings of the regiment.

Woven onto the colours are battle honours; the Queen's Colour has honours from the First World War and Second World War, while the Regimental Colour has honours from other campaigns.

The Regimental Colour also has other distinctions, including antecedent emblems and unique honours.

Due to the advent of modern weapons, and subsequent changes in tactics, Colours are no longer carried into battle, but continue to be used at events of formal character.

COLOURS ARE 'SOUL OF THE REGIMENT' Royal Welsh soldiers on an exercise in Pembrokeshire yesterday said the presentation would be a proud day.

Lt Paddy Nicholls, 24, said the colours had always been "the soul of the regiment".

"The merger saw people thrown in together on exercises, like here at Castlemartin and has seen everyone bond very well.

"Having the Queen come to Cardiff for us is huge. The colours for the infantry battalion are massive, it is almost the soul of the regiment.

"Historically for us that was our rallying point and what we all circled around. They are made especially important to us because of our history in Rorke's Drift.

"Having nearly lost Queen Victoria's colours at Isandlwana just before Rorke's Drift, and then recovering them, and then being presented with the Wreath of Immortelles, the colours are hugely iconic.

"They are important - probably more than you'd guess - for what are essentially flags on sticks.

"We have quite an emotional bond with them. This is a once in a life time opportunity.

"The Queen being there for us is so significant. She is not just our monarch, she is our Colonel in Chief."

LCpl Brandon Williams, 21, from Newport, was with the second battalion before it merged, but said both battalions had trained together and already felt a huge sense of solidarity.

"We trained and then we separated to our battalions, so coming back together was actually really wonderful.

"It was like reuniting with friends and we are now a much stronger unit . "Receiving the colours doesn't happen very often.

"The Royal Welsh for us, as Welsh soldiers is quite significant. Some of the units in the army are recruited from across the UK, but it is because we are Welsh that we joined Royal Welsh.

"To get our new colours, and to do it in Wales, at the Millennium stadium in Cardiff - which is every Welshman's favourite place - is quite an event."

LCpl John Morris, 25, a Vehicle Commander, said: "The parade in Cardiff is the culmination of the merger, joining the two battalions properly and giving us our own new colours.

"It is a huge thing for us and represents 326 years of our heritage. " The Queen will visit Cardiff in June


Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion The Royal Welsh (Royal Regiment of Wales) which has become the 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion The Royal Welsh (Royal Regiment of Wales) which has become the 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh SGT RUSS NOLAN RLC
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Apr 17, 2015
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