Major General Patterson, ever since my grandfather King George V visited trials of the early tanks at Elveden in July 1916 there has been an unbreakable connection between the Sovereign and the Royal Tank Regiment. Since the Regiment’s birth, only the Monarch has presented a New Standard and so now, a century later, I take great pleasure in presenting you with your New Standard today.
Of course much has changed since 1916. Technology has evolved, and the Regiment with it. But the Regiment’s reputation for hard work and ingenuity endures. And the bond within tank crews, within squadrons and within the Regiment remains undiminished.
The Standard is the symbol of that bond between the men and women who serve in the Regiment and of your allegiance to the Sovereign and to the Nation. It bears the place-names of the Regiment’s hard-won battle honours and, in an increasingly uncertain world, it serves to remind us of the sacrifices which have been made in the past on behalf of the Nation.
I know that last year’s marking of the one hundredth anniversary of the Battle of Cambrai, where your forebears demonstrated the value of the tank on the battlefield, was an important moment in the history of the Regiment. Now, as we look forward to the challenges of the Regiment’s next one hundred years, I wish you - together with your families - the strength and fortitude to succeed in all you do, as those who have gone before you have always done.