21 April 2012 marked the 70th anniversary of The Queen being made Colonel of the Grenadier Guards as well as Her Majesty’s 86th birthday. Troops in Afghanistan sent messages to mark the double celebration.
In the week of Her Majesty’s birthday The Queen’s senior regiment of Foot Guards said ‘thank-you and congratulations’ to their Colonel-in-Chief in a small parade at Forward Operating Base Price, in the Nahr E Saraj district of Helmand province.
The parade was conducted in the full heat of the Afghan sun and was a demonstration of the close link between the monarch and her regiment.
With the men of the Grenadier Guards swapping their bearskins and tunics for helmets and body armour until later in the year they will miss Trooping the Colour in this, the Diamond Jubilee year.
The Commanding Officer of 1st Battalion The Grenadier Guards, Lt Col James Bowder MBE, said:
“I am extremely honoured to be in a position to give mine and the Regiment’s heartfelt and sincere good wishes to Her Majesty on her birthday, and to thank her Her Majesty for having been our Colonel and then Colonel-in-Chief for the last 70 years.”
He added: “We will do all we can to live up to the values of respect, courage and dignity that she clearly embodies as we go about our difficult but important role in Nahr E Saraj.”
Sergeant Richard Archer, 2 Section Commander said:
“To be in The Queen’s Company is a fantastic privilege, there’s intense rivalry between the Companies but this is the one everyone wants to be a part of due to the honour of having The Queen as our figurehead. I’d like to congratulate Her Majesty on her birthday, and for her fantastic achievement, and hopefully her association with The Queen’s Company will continue for many years to come.”