An address by The Earl of Wessex at the Presentation of Colours to the Royal Gibraltar Regiment


You should be justly proud of your successes and achievements, recognised in their own right by this presentation of your Regimental Colours today.

All ranks of the Royal Gibraltar Regiment, today is a unique and hopefully a memorable one for you, as Her Majesty The Queen has presented you with your new Colours.

This is your Sovereign’s personal recognition of your professionalism, skill, courage and unique contribution to our nation’s Defence. On behalf of Her Majesty, I hand over these colours in the confidence that you will guard them well.

That they will be symbols of the Royal Gibraltar Regiment’s enduring spirit and devotion to duty. That it will inspire you in the face of uncertainties.

That as an emblem of your achievements it will be an embodiment of your regiment’s traditions, heritage and ethos.

But most importantly, I give it into your care as a token of Her Majesty’s admiration and trust in each and every one of you and in the regiment in which you serve.

To all the families and friends who have come to witness this special day and parade, I trust you are feeling very proud. I’m guessing here, but this is probably the first time in your Regiment’s and your antecedents’ nearly 320-year history of service to the Crown that you have received Colours in Windsor Castle.

In fact, I’m going to hazard that you are a first for a Reserve or Volunteer unit. So, when I say unique and memorable, I really do mean it.

I believe it’s been about 25 years since your last Colours were presented, and these are the first to be adorned with the title ‘Royal’ as the Regiment earned that prefix in 2009. I also understand that the senior Ensign today, Major Grant Smith, was also on parade when the old Colours were presented.

Apologies for just letting on how long you have served with the Regiment, I know how annoying that is, but how fitting that you should have been entrusted with this role today.

With the backdrop of the horrendous events in Ukraine, the need for our defence forces and, in particular, the key role played by volunteers and reservists has been brought into sharp relief for many. Defence of “The Rock” has always been your priority, but your specialist skills means that you have been called upon to support the UK’s operations in many different theatres.

The Army in which we serve today may be technologically different to that of yesterday, it may have different capabilities, but it still depends entirely on the men and women who serve to make it work and to make it the best.

The last time I saw you was 10 years ago at the Grand Casemates for The Queen’s Birthday Parade, and what an excellent parade that was.

That was also a Jubilee year and you also conducted public duties in London.

It’s good to see the Barbarians back and your distinctive pith helmets in this, Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee.

You should be justly proud of your successes and achievements, recognised in their own right by this presentation of your Regimental Colours today. My wife and I look forward to seeing them being carried on parade on your home soil in the not too distant future.

Well done today and I wish you all every good fortune.

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