The Queen who is Patron of The Royal Army Chaplains’ Department was there to celebrate the centenary of when her grandfather, King George V granted the prefix ‘Royal’ to the department.
The Queen’s grandfather, King George V, bestowed their Royal title in recognition of its outstanding service and sacrifice during the First World War 200 years ago today. 179 British Army chaplains died in WW1 and three were awarded Victoria Cross Medals.
The service today was held at The Guards’ Chapel, Wellington Barracks. The Queen joined the Chaplain-General and current and former chaplains to recognise the sacrifice made and service given by Army Chaplains in conflicts.
Army Chaplains from both past and present conflicts provide chaplaincy to support soldiers on active duty.
The service included readings from chaplains’ diaries. In Act of Dedication, serving Army Chaplains were invited to reaffirm their commitment and rededicate themselves in service. There was also an act of global unity, when Army Chaplains on operations around the world, paused in prayer to join the rededication.
Following the service, Her Majesty viewd three paintings, specially commissioned to commemorate the 100th anniversary, and meet the artist, Mr Harry Parker who served with the Rifles in Iraq and Afghanistan, losing both his legs in active duty in 2009.
The Queen spoke to current Padres and former Chaplains-General as well as soldiers who have either helped chaplains in their daily duties or who have benefited from the support and care of chaplains in barracks or on operations.
Army Chaplains minister to soldiers and their families in times of war and peace, providing spiritual support, pastoral care and moral guidance to all, irrespective of religion or beliefs. They accompany troops and can lead and manage but do not command. Chaplains wear uniforms of the British Army but are non-combatants.