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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Russell Myers

King Charles warns of 'difficult times' at rare outing with sister Princess Anne

King Charles and Princess Anne came together for a rare joint outing, where the monarch warned the country continues to face "an array of threats" and "difficult times".

The monarch and Princess Royal, colonel of the Blues and Royals, presented the new Sovereign’s Standard to the Blues and Royals squadron (Royal Horse Guards and 1st Dragoons) of the Household Cavalry, in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace this afternoon.

Arriving just after 2pm to a trumpet fanfare, Charles, wearing the uniform of Field Marshal with a Field Marshal baton.

Anne wore her uniform of a Blues and Royals colonel, which she also wore to last month's Coronation, and they stood on a dais as 35 soldiers and 27 horses formed up on the quadrangle for the presentation of the new standard.

King Charles chats to guests at Buckingham Palace today (PA)

The new standard, made of silk damask with gold embroidery which bears the Royal Arms and the regiment’s battle honours, was then consecrated by the Chaplain General Padre Tom Sander and Padre Ian Rogers before being presented by the King.

He briefly touched the Standard and then presented it to Major Peter Ireland, the squadron commander of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment.

Charles then made a short speech from the dais, recalling the squadron’s long links with the monarch, and praising its soldiers’ unique dual operational and ceremonial roles.

Anne wore her Blues and Royals colonel's uniform (PA)

He said: "Ladies and gentlemen, it is a matter of great pride to be here with you today to present your new standard which, in itself, represents that personal bond between the Blues and Royals and the Sovereign that has lasted since before the Restoration in 1661.

“Your standard, once the physical rallying point for your forebears, is the golden thread which connects you to your illustrious past.

"The battle honours displayed upon it, along with your uniforms and medals that are so visible in your ceremonial role are a further demonstration of your proven track record as battle-hardened mounted and dismounted soldiers with recent operational experience.

"Indeed, I know that some of you are currently deployed on duty with the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus.

Charles touches the new standard (PA)

"Such history pays homage to your dual role, and that of course is the fundamental principle which makes State Ceremonial and Public Duties so special and credible to a most grateful nation.

"In these difficult times for our country, as we continue to face an array of threats in many different forms, both domestically and internationally, it is all the more important to preserve such standards of excellence and achievement.

"As your Colonel-in-Chief, I know that your Colonel, the Princess Royal, joins me in thanking you all for your unlimited commitment and service, as well as your families for their tremendous and unwavering support, some of whom I am delighted to see are able to join us today.

The ceremony at Buckingham Palace this afternoon (PA)

"I commend this standard to your safe-keeping as a source of pride and inspiration to all of you - wherever you may be - in the service of your country."

The standard was then given to the Sovereign's Escort mounted troop, which marched past Charles and Anne to offer a second royal salute.

After the short ceremony, Charles and Anne spent several minutes meeting with some of the 75 guests who attended in the quadrangle, including past and present members of the Household Cavalry and friends and family of those on parade.

The guests also include Brigadier Andrew Parker Bowles, Queen Camilla's ex-husband, a former commanding officer of the Household Cavalry.

The service usually takes place every decade and the squadron was last presented their Standard by the late Queen in May 2014.

The hand-crafted Blues and Royals standard has been made by the family business Wyedean in Haworth, West Yorkshire.

The newly consecrated standard will be on parade at the King's first Birthday Parade, Trooping the Colour, on Saturday.

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