Ceremonial activity and traditions

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The traditions of the Regiment have been maintained and developed by ‘The Tigers’, as shown in this history. Part of maintaining this tradition includes ceremonial activity, which began with the Regimental Review in Canterbury in June 1993. The other major events have been the Presentation of New Colours to the 2nd Battalion in 1995 by the then Colonel-in-Chief, Her Royal Highness The Princess of Wales, followed by the presentation of New Colours to the 1st Battalion in 1997 by the Colonel-in-Chief, Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II of Denmark. Both events occurred at Howe Barracks, Canterbury. The Colonel-in-Chief presented the new Colours to the 3rd (Volunteer) Battalion at Ardingly in 1999.

Following the presentation of these new Colours, there were the customary ceremonies of laying up the Old Colours of The Queen’s Regiment and 1st Battalion The Royal Hampshire Regiment. These were sad, but proud occasions held at Guildford Cathedral (1 QUEENS), Canterbury Cathedral (2 QUEENS), St. Paul’s Cathedral (3 QUEENS) and Winchester Cathedral (1 R HAMPS). In addition, a number of Freedom Parades have occurred each year, which help maintain the Regiment’s links within the South-East recruiting area, as soldiers march through their home towns with bayonets fixed, drums beating and Colours flying.

An obviously unique event was the Regimental celebration of the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Albuhera at Albuhera on 16 May 2011, which has cemented a long standing relationship with the people of this historic Spanish town.

The 2nd Battalion has had the highest ceremonial profile. Whilst based in Woolwich from 2010 to 2014, it had a very busy training schedule, company deployments to the Falkland Islands and the critical Olympics role already mentioned. However, the primary task during that period was as a Ceremonial Battalion manning the ‘Blue Line’ within London District. The Queen’s Guard was mounted at Buckingham Palace, the other Royal Palaces were guarded, various parades took place for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and there was the highlight of providing battalion route-lining for the Royal Wedding of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on the 29th April 2011. The Battalion was the last Line Infantry Battalion to perform Public Duties on the final guard of Her Majesty’s Tower of London; the Director of the Tower took the salute at the ceremony of the keys and gifted the No. 1 Sentry Box display sign to the unit. The hard work and dedication of the 2nd Battalion during this very busy ceremonial period reinforced the Regiment’s professional reputation.