The Prince of Wales and Prince Harry present medals to the Gurkhas
14 March 2017
The Prince of Wales and Prince Harry presented Operational Medals to the 2nd Battalion Royal Gurkha Rifles in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace
The medal ceremony started with the Royal Gurkha Rifles and The Band of The Brigade of Gurkhas marching from Wellington Barracks to Buckingham Palace. The Gurkhas then assembled in The Ballroom of Buckingham Palace where they were presented with their medals by The Prince of Wales and Prince Harry.
154 medals were awarded to members of the Royal Gurkha Rifles following their return from Operation Toral, the UK mission to secure key sites within Kabul, in December 2016. Many were receiving the Afghanistan Operational Service medal for the first time, while some had earned the Accumulated Campaign Service Medal.
The Royal Family has strong connections to the Gurkhas. This began in 1876 when the then Prince of Wales, the future Edward VII, became the first Colonel-in-Chief. 2017 marks the current Prince of Wales's Fortieth Anniversary as Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Gurkha Rifles. Over the years The Prince of Wales has made a number of visits to the Royal Gurkha Rifles and has made three official visits to Nepal. He is also Patron of The Gurkha Welfare Trust and The Britain-Nepal Medical Trust.
Prince Harry also has a long association with Gurkhas ever since he accompanied his father on a visit to the Royal Gurkha Rifles on Salisbury Plain in 1990. In 2007 he served with the Gurkhas in Afghanistan, and in 2016 he visited Pokhara in Nepal, the spiritual home of the Royal Gurkha Rifles.
Today's medal ceremony finished with a reception in The Ballroom where The Prince of Wales and Prince Harry had the chance to meet Gurkhas and their families.