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Duchess of Cornwall makes first visit to The Rifles following appointment as Colonel-in-Chief

The Duchess of Cornwall appeared in high spirits today as she made her first visit to The Rifles headquarters following her new appointment as Colonel-in-Chief.

Camilla, 73, donned a stunning forest green dress during the occasion and beamed as she arrived at Beachley Barracks in Chepstow Wales earlier this morning. 

Prince Philip, who retired in 2017, transferred the historic military title of Colonel-in-Chief of the infantry regiment The Rifles to the Duchess of Cornwall in July.

The Duke has been closely associated with The Rifles and its earlier regiments for almost 70 years, but he has now handed over his role to Camilla.

The Duchess of Cornwall, 73, appeared in high spirits today as she made her first visit to The Rifles headquarters following her new appointment as Colonel-in-Chief

The Duchess of Cornwall, 73, appeared in high spirits today as she made her first visit to The Rifles headquarters following her new appointment as Colonel-in-Chief

During todays visit Camilla opted for a green coat dress and complemented the look with a matching handbag. 

Her blonde bob was styled in an impeccable blow-dry, and she sported a dash of blush for a healthy glow. 

She beamed as she arrived and greeted soldiers at the barracks earlier this morning in Chepstow. 

The occasion marks her first visit since she was bestowed the title of Colonel-in-Chief.

Camilla, who donned a stunning forest green dress for the occasion in Wales today, beamed as she met with soldiers on the base

Camilla, who donned a stunning forest green dress for the occasion in Wales today, beamed as she met with soldiers on the base

The occasion marked the royal's first visit to the headquarters since she was bestowed the role of Colonel-in-Chief in July

The occasion marked the royal’s first visit to the headquarters since she was bestowed the role of Colonel-in-Chief in July 

Amid extreme social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic, she and Prince Philip took part in separate ceremonies hundreds of miles from one another.  

The Duke was Colonel-in-Chief of The Rifles from its formation in 2007 but his connection stretches back further, because he has served as Colonel-in-Chief of successive Regiments which now make up The Rifles since 1953.

Camilla was appointed Royal Colonel of 4th Battalion The Rifles in 2007 and continues to hold that position.

She supported the battalion during the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, writing to next of kin, sending letters to the injured, and meeting families – as well as the traditional medals parades 

The Duchess smiled broadly as she spoke with soldiers during the visit to the barracks earlier today

The Duchess smiled broadly as she spoke with soldiers during the visit to the barracks earlier today 

The royal spoke wit Riflemen who are currently undertaking further training, during her first visit to the 1st Battalion

The royal spoke wit Riflemen who are currently undertaking further training, during her first visit to the 1st Battalion

Camilla went on to join soldiers at a reception during the visit, where she met with family members including one tiny tot

Camilla went on to join soldiers at a reception during the visit, where she met with family members including one tiny tot 

Most recently, Camilla visited New Normandy Barracks in Aldershot in May last year to present service medals and meet members of the battalion and their families.

The Duchess also has personal links to military organisations connected to her father, Major Bruce Shand, who was awarded two Military Crosses.

Two battalions of The Rifles today form part of the celebrated 7th Infantry Brigade, otherwise known as the Desert Rats, with whom Major Shand served, and the duchess is patron of The Desert Rats Association.

Philip – who is a patron, president or a member of more than 780 organisations – has been officially retired since 2017, although he appeared on the balcony at the Cenotaph remembrance event in November that year.

The Duchess, who appeared in high spirits throughout the visit, was also shown the Roll of Honour, at Beachley Barracks, earlier today

The Duchess, who appeared in high spirits throughout the visit, was also shown the Roll of Honour, at Beachley Barracks, earlier today 

She beamed as she spoke with those currently undergoing training at the barracks in Wales during her visit

She beamed as she spoke with those currently undergoing training at the barracks in Wales during her visit 

But a palace spokesman said he had been asked by The Rifles if they could pay tribute to his service with a ceremonial event and, as he was at Windsor Castle, he was happy to facilitate it.

The Rifles were formed in February 2007, following the merger of four celebrated infantry Regiments – The Devonshire and Dorset Light Infantry; The Light Infantry; The Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Light Infantry; and The Royal Green Jackets.

Forged during the campaigns of Iraq and Afghanistan, they are now the largest infantry regiment in the British Army. Their motto is: ‘Swift and Bold.’

The visit comes after the Duchess joined Prince Charles for a summer holiday at the Queen’s Balmoral estate in August. 

Prince Charles and Camilla apparently kicked off their break at their Scottish residence of Birkhall at the beginning of last month, Hello! reported. 








The Duchess appeared in high spirits as she arrived for the visit at Beachley Barracks earlier today

The Duchess appeared in high spirits as she arrived for the visit at Beachley Barracks earlier today 

The Duchess opted for a classic green coat dress for the occasion, which she paired with delicate jewellery and a silver brooch

The Duchess opted for a classic green coat dress for the occasion, which she paired with delicate jewellery and a silver brooch

The Duchess opted for a classic green coat dress for the occasion, which she paired with delicate jewellery and a silver brooch 

It is unknown if the couple were there at the same time as Prince William, Kate and their three children, who arrived in Balmoral at the end of the month. 

According to The Sun almost exactly five months after the Queen told Britons ‘We will meet again’ in a now historic address to the nation, she had her first socially distanced meeting with all five of the Cambridges.

It was the first face-to-face meeting involving the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis since lockdown began in March.

According to the Sun, sources say the Queen spent time with her great-grandchildren while outside on the royal estate.

Camilla was appointed Royal Colonel of 4th Battalion The Rifles in 2007 and continues to hold that position

Camilla was appointed Royal Colonel of 4th Battalion The Rifles in 2007 and continues to hold that position

The Duchess continued to respect social distancing guidelines during the visit to the barracks earlier today

The Duchess continued to respect social distancing guidelines during the visit to the barracks earlier today 

The royal appeared in high spirits and beamed as she arrived for the momentous occasion today

The royal appeared in high spirits and beamed as she arrived for the momentous occasion today

Prince Edward, Sophie of Wessex and Princess Anne also reportedly visited the 50,000-acre estate.

The source told The Sun: ‘Like every family, they’ve been desperate to get back together and over the moon it was possible this weekend.

‘They’ve all been up there for a few days and although there are very strict procedures with social distancing, they’ve been able to find ways of seeing each other outside.

‘It’s obviously been a difficult year for the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh seeing the country dealing with the pandemic, so they were all keen to go there to show their support.’

The Duchess was handed the role of the Colonel-in-Chief of The Rifles by Prince Philip earlier this year

The Duchess was handed the role of the Colonel-in-Chief of The Rifles by Prince Philip earlier this year 

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