See pictures of Prince Charles' visit to Colchester
- Credit: PA
The Prince of Wales was at the Merville Barracks in Colchester to present the Army's world-renowned airborne battalions with their new colours.
His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales made the ceremonial visit as part of his role as Colonel-in-Chief of the Parachute regiment.
The visit also marks the 50th anniversary of the Prince of Wales' first parachute jump.
Addressing soldiers and veterans at the ceremony, Prince Charles said: "I find it hard to believe that it’s been 44 years since I became your Colonel-in-Chief and nearly 50 years since I made my first parachute drop, initially upside down with my legs in the rigging lines, into Studland Bay, Dorset, where I was pulled out of the water by the Royal Marines.”
At the start of the ceremony, the Old Colours were marched off parade, as the band of the Parachute Regiment played Auld Lang Syne.
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Seven Parachute Regiment Royal Horse Artillery guns fired a salute for the arrival of the Prince of Wales and the National Anthem was played.
His Royal Highness inspected the front rank of the parade, taking an avid interest in talking to the paratroopers representing the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Battalions of the Parachute Regiment.
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After the inspection, the Prince undertook the formal presentation of the new Regimental Colours. The Colours were blessed, and he laid his hand on each as they were handed reverentially to the battalions.
After the formal presentation, the Prince of Wales said: "The Colours I present today on behalf of the Queen continue to symbolise your loyalty and distinguished pedigree of which you can all be justifiably proud."
To mark the solemnity and importance of the moment a flypast took place over the parade square charting the aerial heritage and future of the Regiment, from the Tiger Moth to the modern-day Apache helicopter and the A400 transporter.
After today’s Parade and displays, His Royal Highness joined a socially distanced reception outside to meet veterans, serving officers and soldiers with their families.