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The Duke of Cambridge presents operational service medals to the Irish Guards

6th December 2013

The Duke of Cambridge, as colonel of the regiment, inspects soldiers of No.2 Company, 1st Battalion Irish Guards, and present operational service medals, during a company medals parade at Mons Barracks in Aldershot, Hampshire.

The Duke of Cambridge, as colonel of the regiment, inspects soldiers of No.2 Company, 1st Battalion Irish Guards, and present operational service medals, during a company medals parade at Mons Barracks in Aldershot, Hampshire.

The Duke of Cambridge has presented medals to members of the Irish Guards who have recently returned from operations in Afghanistan.

The Duke, who is Colonel of the regiment, presented operational service medals to soldiers of No. 2 Company, 1st Battalion at Mons Barracks in Aldershot, Hampshire.

Around 120 men received the medals in front of friends and family as The Duke's standard flew at half mast in tribute to former South African president Nelson Mandela, who died yesterday.

No. 2 Company returned from Helmand Province in October having served a six-month tour. The unit suffered no fatalities but did suffer some wounded.

The Duke of Cambridge, as colonel of the regiment, inspects soldiers of No.2 Company, 1st Battalion Irish Guards, and presents operational service medals, during a company medals parade at Mons Barracks in Aldershot, Hampshire.

The Duke of Cambridge, as colonel of the regiment, inspects soldiers of No.2 Company, 1st Battalion Irish Guards, and presents operational service medals, during a company medals parade at Mons Barracks in Aldershot, Hampshire.

After presenting the medals, His Royal Highness told the men: "You did your job magnificently, helping the people of Helmand to face their future with greater security and confidence, and you all came home safe and sound.

"This speaks greatly of your professionalism and to your care for one another.

"We are extremely proud of you, and glad beyond words that you are safely home."

The Duke also briefly met some of the soldiers and their families.

No. 2 Company commander Major Jonathan Palmer said: "It was fantastic, particularly for the families.

"To have, what you might call, some royal stardust is a vindication of the sacrifices they have made."

The officer said that it was the professionalism and training of his men that ensured all of them came home but he said that on several occasions it had been "a close call".