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The Prince of Wales presents operational service medals to the Royal Dragoon Guards

27th June 2013

The Prince of Wales presents operational service medals to the Royal Dragoon Guards.

The Prince of Wales presents operational service medals to the Royal Dragoon Guards.

The Prince of Wales has presented medals to soldiers from the Royal Dragoon Guards who recently returned from Afghanistan.

Acting in his role as Colonel in Chief of the regiment, The Prince hosted the ceremony in the garden of his London residence, Clarence House.

After marching to music from the Band of the Royal Logistic Corps, the troops waited to receive the medals as their family and friends looked on.

The Prince received a salute from the regiment's commanding officer and then inspected a parade of the personnel.

The Operation Herrick 17 medal was presented to 118 soldiers, while two others received regimental medals. His Royal Highness, who has been Colonel in Chief of the regiment since 1992, wore his Royal Dragoons tie for the occasion. During Operation Herrick 17, from September 2012 to May this year, the Royal Dragoon Guards mentored the Afghan police force in Helmand province.

The troops worked with thousands of officers in a bid to improve security in Afghanistan.

Captain Andrew Moncrieff, 25, from Winchester, Hampshire, commanded a team of 16 soldiers who mentored the police during the tour. He said: "We were very lucky to be there at a real turning point. We got them out each morning doing patrols, clearing the vulnerable points and out dominating the areas from their checkpoints.

"The police are everything and are very much the future for both Helmand and wider Afghanistan."

Capt Moncrieff added that he was "utterly delighted" to return home safely.

"My soldiers performed immaculately during a very difficult six months and I was delighted to bring them home, everyone alive and intact," he said.

Trooper Jonathan Pennacchini, 25, from Maidstone, Kent, said it was "quite an honour" to receive his medal from The Prince.

He worked as part of the Warthog Group and said The Prince asked him how he rated the armoured vehicle.

"He asked what I thought of the vehicle and if it had performed as well as I anticipated. It completely outdid my expectations.

"We found ourselves very useful in Afghanistan. We worked with quite a few different units - the Gurkhas, we worked with Afghan special forces as well. The vehicle could go anywhere," he said.

Trooper Pennacchini added: "I've got my girlfriend and my mother with me today. It's quite a proud moment for myself and for them as well.

"Not many people get to shake hands with The Prince so it's something that I've been looking forward to and now I've got bragging rights for the future."