Prince William prepares for Trooping the Colour lead role ahead of Queens Jubilee celebrations

Prince William has appeared before the Irish Guards as he presented them with new colours ahead of the regiment’s lead role in next month’s Trooping the Colour parade to celebrate The Queen's Platinum Jubilee.

In his role as the battalion’s Colonel, The Duke of Cambridge addressed 450 assembled soldiers during a ceremony held in the quadrangle of Windsor Castle.

Surrounded by an audience of family and friends, William said he was “immensely proud” of the regiment and everything it had achieved in the 13 years since last receiving new colours.

He specifically cited the contribution of many of the assembled soldiers who had served around the world in Afghanistan, Cyprus,Kosovo, Iraq and South Sudan.

In an impassioned speech, the Duke said: “I am speaking to those Guardsmen, and indeed every one of you assembled here today, when I say that I am immensely proud of what you have achieved.

“The indomitable family spirit of the Micks remains your hallmark and I know that the support and devotion of the Regimental family remains as strong as ever.”

He also went on to add: “I know that Her Majesty is looking forward to seeing these new colours trooped during her official birthday parade next month.”

The 1st Battalion Irish Guards will next be seen at the start of The Queen’s official Platinum Jubilee celebrations, which kick off on 2 June with the Trooping the Colour.

Over 1,200 officers and soldiers from across the entire Household Division will take part in the procession alongside hundreds of Army musicians and 240 horses. This year will mark the first time the annual parade has been held in full since before the pandemic.

In Windsor on Tuesday, the Irish Guards accompanied by the Band of the Irish Guards and the Corps of Drums led by their regimental mascot Irish Wolfhound Turlough Mór, paraded out of their barrack while bearing their old colours.

Marching through the town and into the grounds of Windsor Castle, around 500 friends and family members were there to witness the iconic spectacle, including UK defence Secretary Ben Wallace.

Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel James Armitage soon called the parade to attention and gave the order to present arms in a General Salute that captivated the audience.

The old colours were then marched off and the Duke of Cambridge moved to stand beside the Chief of the General Staff, General Sir Mark Carleton-Smith and the Irish Guards’ Regimental Adjutant, Major Niall Hall as the Royal Salute took place, followed shortly after by the national anthem.

During the procession two soldiers succumbed to the May heat and fainted.

Accompanied by the Commanding Officer, the Duke moved to inspect the front rank of the assembled Irish Guards, and after prayers and consecration of the new colours, he presented the colours and addressed the regiment.

Following the impressive military display, three cheers for the Queen then rang out, followed by three cheers for the Duke.

Second in line for the throne, Prince William has been the Colonel of the Irish Guards since 2011 and wore the regimental uniform during his wedding that same year.

The iconic red uniforms are decorated with a special pattern of buttons arranged in groups of four to help distinguish it from the other four regiments of foot guards.

New colours are normally presented every 10 years, but the Irish Guards’ old colours were last presented by the Queen in 2009, with the delay due to a combination of pandemic pressures and operational requirements of the guards themselves.

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