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Prince Harry attends the Gurkha 200 Pageant

9th June 2015

Prince Harry during the Gurkha 200 Pageant at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, London.

Prince Harry during the Gurkha 200 Pageant at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, London.

Prince Harry joined The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh and The Prince of Wales to celebrate two centuries of Gurkha service with the British Armed Forces in the sprawling grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea.

Prince Harry, who served alongside the Royal Gurkha Rifles, said he wanted to join the fearsome soldiers himself.

The Prince, who will leave the Army in June after 10 years’ service, told guests he had missed the chance because of timing.

He told Born Free founder Virginia McKenna, whose husband Bill Travers was in the 9th Gurkhas: "I always wanted to be a Gurkha, but the opportunity never arose.

"Physically, I bow down to these guys. They are incredible."

Harry was also reunited with Sgt Dipprasad Pun, with whom he served in Garmsir, Afghanistan in 2007.

He congratulated Sgt Pun, 35, after he was awarded the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross for single-handedly defeating up to 30 Taliban fighters who attempted to storm his control post in Helmand in 2010.

Sgt Pun said: "This is a great way to show the younger generation what the Gurkhas have done."

Earlier The Queen met Gurkha veterans and joked about the age and condition of some Gurkha artefacts - describing a truncheon as "battered" and laughing that a Charles Read telescope was "going back a long way, isn't it".

Temporary stands were erected in the grounds of the hospital, allowing visitors the chance to witness battle reenactments charting Gurkha history.

The Prince of Wales said: "In the two hundred years that the Gurkhas have fought for the British Crown they have earned our nation's deepest respect and gratitude.

"Throughout their service they have shown time and again the most remarkable devotion to duty and bravery in the most challenging of circumstances, with significant numbers of their officers and men being awarded the Victoria Cross, this country's highest award for gallantry."

He said the Gurkhas' loyalty, coupled with the highest professional standards, has "put them at the forefront of the British Army".

The Queen receives a posy from the daughter of a serving soldier from Brigade of Gurkhas at the #Gurkha200 pageant

A photo posted by The British Monarchy (@the_british_monarchy) on

The service ended as six-year-old Swechhya Joshi, daughter of a serving Gurkha, presented the Queen with a floral bouquet.

The Prince of Wales and Prince Harry pose with a group of Gurkhas at a reception prior to the Gurkha 200 Pageant

The Prince of Wales and Prince Harry pose with a group of Gurkhas at a reception prior to the Gurkha 200 Pageant