Colonel, Officers, Warrant Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers and Troopers of the Queen’s Own Yeomanry.
This is the first time you have been presented with a Guidon since the formation of the Regiment in 1971. The five Guidons of the constituent Squadrons that have been marched off parade represent over two centuries of volunteer service to the Crown at home and abroad, service which has continued to this day. Since its formation, the Regiment has carried on the service of its forbears and served around the world on exercises and operations, most recently in the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan.
As Your Royal Honorary Colonel, I am so very proud to witness the Queen’s Own Yeomanry continuing to uphold its traditions of service and duty whilst meeting the new challenges of an ever-changing world. I acknowledge with immense gratitude and undying admiration the truly exemplary contribution that your Officers, Soldiers and families provide so selflessly to the defence of the realm. You set us an outstanding example that I, for one, do not take for granted.
For instance, in June this year 572 reservists were serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Balkans and since 2003 138 soldiers from the Queen’s Own Yeomanry have been deployed overseas. As I speak, many will be engaged on continuously hazardous operations, often out of sight and out of mind. Many will be called upon to leave their civilian workplaces to return frequently to dangerous theatres of operation. This kind of remarkable loyalty and dedication cannot be realized without the selfless and extraordinary support of reservists’ families. I would like to take this opportunity today to salute them for the vital and understanding role they play.
You should all be justifiably proud of your achievements to date and I have every confidence that with the strength derived from your illustrious forbearer Regiments, and this new Guidon, the Regiment will go from strength to strength. I can only congratulate you today on the smartness of your bearing and on all the effort you have put into this splendid occasion.
On behalf of Her Majesty, I am entrusting this new Guidon, which chronicles so much of the Regiment’s marvellous History, to your safekeeping, and I am certain that it will inspire all those who serve alongside it to maintain the very highest standards in the Queen’s Own Yeomanry.