VETERANS, soldiers and their families were joined by Prince Charles to celebrate the Royal’s 40 years as The Parachute Regiment’s Colonel-in-Chief.

The event, at Merville Barracks, Colchester, began with a parade from the Regiment’s four battalions, music from The Band of The Parachute Regiment and a presentation by The Red Devils, who jumped in to hand a commemorative flag to the Prince.

Claire Hallam, AFF’s East Anglia Co-ordinator, went along to the celebrations. She said: “The day was a great success with all the families saying they really enjoyed it. Following the parade, families had a BBQ and had fun on the packed rides.”

In a speech to the parade, Prince Charles – who took on the role in June 1977 and completed parachute training in 1978 – spoke of his “immense pride and privilege” to serve as the Regiment’s figurehead.

He added: “I have seen lieutenants rise to generals and sons follow fathers into the Regiment. During my long association with this famous Regiment you seem to have been constantly on operations all around the world. I value so much the chance to be with you all today.”

Lieutenant General John Lorimer, Colonel Commandant of The Parachute Regiment, said: “It is a huge honour to have His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales as Colonel-in-Chief. This event has been a wonderful occasion to gather together as a regimental family to celebrate this significant milestone.”

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