The Prince of Wales with the Red Devils

Fifty years on since The Prince of Wales made his first parachute drop at the age of 23, His Royal Highness today presented New Colours to The Parachute Regiment at Merville Barracks in Colchester.

Formed during the height of WW2 in 1942, The Parachute Regiment are trained to conduct a range of missions, from prevention tasks to complex high intensity war fighting. Having inspected the front rank of 1 PARA, 2 PARA and 3 PARA, His Royal Highness observed the Parade and presented New Colours.

Colours, which are exquisitely handmade of precious silks, silver and gilt threads, are used on the Regiment’s most important occasions, and bear the battle honours and symbols of the battalions. They are believed to carry the spirits of all those who fought and died in their name since the founding of the Regiment. Old Colours are laid up in memorial chapels with due reverence until, often centuries later, rotted by time, they fall, and then, like fallen heroes, the remains are given a burial with full military honours.

The end of the Parade saw a magnificent display from the Red Devils, who are made up of 15 serving soldiers from The Paras. The team carry out more than 60 spectacular parachute displays each year at public events worldwide - the majority of which to help raise money for charity.

The Prince was presented with a ‘68 Pattern Denison Smock, which His Royal Highness wore whilst undertaking his own Parachute Training.

Following the Parade, His Royal Highness said hello to veterans, serving officers and soldiers with their families - and not forgetting the Regiment’s pony mascot, Pegasus!