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HRH visits RAF St Athan to welcome back soldiers from the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards

1st March 2004

The Prince of Wales, as Colonel-in-Chief of the Welsh Guards, took the salute at the Welsh Guards St. David‘s Day parade at RAF St Athan, Vale of Glamorgan, South Wales. His Royal Highness visited RAF St. Athan to welcome soldiers from his Prince of Wales‘s Company, 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, as they arrived back from Northern Ireland after an 11-month tour. The Prince, who is Colonel-in-Chief of the regiment, wore Welsh Guards uniform for the occasion. On arrival, His Royal Highness met the troops, who descended from an RAF C130 Hercules aircraft, having flown in from Northern Ireland.

A Royal salute welcomed The Prince as he arrived at the parade square, with some 320 Welsh Guardsmen, 200 comrades and 30 RAF service personnel on parade. The Welsh Guards Regimental Band provided music for the ceremony.

Later, during a medal presentation ceremony, His Royal Highness presented a prize to 13-year-old Gareth Jones, who is undergoing chemotherapy for leukaemia.

Gareth, of Aberkenfig, South Wales, told of his interest in the Army and his wish to join the Welsh Guards.

He said he had met the Prince previously on a visit to Clarence House with Llandough Hospital in Cardiff, where he is undergoing treatment.

He said: “I went to Clarence House in December with Llandough Hospital. We helped him decorate his Christmas tree.” Gareth added: “He remembered me.”

The Prince was also presented with a bunch of daffodils by 12-year-old Charlotte Regan, of Newport, who is the daughter of Company Sergeant Major Michael Regan.

The Prince also met Falklands veteran Steve Fisher, 48, who joined the army aged 15 and later needed his leg amputated after receiving injuries.

Mr Fisher said: “I do a lot of welfare work for the British Limbless Ex-Servicemen‘s Association. We do work with amputees.” He said meeting The Prince was “fantastic,” adding “I was guard of honour at his wedding.”

The Prince went on visit the nearby town of Cowbridge, which is this year celebrating the 750th anniversary of receiving its Royal Charter.